On Wednesday, President Trump, acting in response to the fear that Boeing 737 MAX planes may be unsafe to fly due to two similar accidents, issued an emergency order through the FAA administrator to ground the Boeing 737 MAX 8 and MAX 9 from flying in and out of our country. No questions were asked. Yet almost a year into an invasion of unimaginable security, cultural, health care, and fiscal concerns, we are told that unless there are 60 votes in the Senate and every district judge agrees – something that will never happen even after Republicans win in 2020 – there is nothing Trump can do with his executive and delegated authority to grind all illegal immigration to a halt. This is simply not true. It’s time to build the will, even more than the wall.
The open-borders movement began with the premise that we must grant amnesty to those who successfully evaded deportation for 20 years and have put down roots here. However, nobody throughout our history, even recent history, suggested that we sit idly and import millions of new illegal aliens and refuse to deport a single person among those who just come in and abscond from their court appearances. Yet that is what’s happening now, and we are all acting as if we need 91 district courts and 60 senators in order to protect our country.
It’s all a matter of will.
We have never had such a severe and blatant invasion through migration last this long without the president implementing a plan to shut it down. During the Mariel boatlifts of Cubans in 1980, the Nicaraguan influx into Texas in 1989, the Haitian boat migration in the early 1990s, and even the first Central American surge under Obama in 2014, the various presidents eventually took action to shut down the flow, even without an immediate legislative fix. After two months of Cuban boatlifts in May and June 1980, totaling more than 100,000 aliens, the flow was shut off to a trickle and eventually ended by the fall. In 1989, after tens of thousands of Nicaraguans came in and demanded asylum, a “rocket docket” was set up in tent cities in south Texas to immediately adjudicate their cases and ship them out.
During the Haitian sea migration in the early 1990s, Presidents Bush and Clinton sent out the Coast Guard to prevent them from landing and returned them home immediately. In Sale v. Haitian Centers Council, Inc. (1993), a case Chief Justice Roberts just referenced in his favorable opinion to Trump in the travel ban case, the Supreme Court made it clear that presidential power to exclude all aliens at the border overrides even asylum requests.
Yet here we are today with the invasion now so bad that the cartels and smugglers have created a transport system to streamline more migration than ever and incentivize more Central Americans to come without fear of a harsh journey. The Washington Post reports that Mexican smugglers have now set up a “conveyor belt system” of express buses “to minimize overhead and maximize capacity,” creating the biggest incentives to come in the largest numbers. We have never had such an orchestrated invasion by so many terrible human beings involved with violent cartels taking advantage of people on both sides of the border so efficiently.
The numbers have been much greater than any previous sudden influx of asylum seekers, and it has been going on much longer without any effort to shut it down. If we add the number of family units and unaccompanied children who came here from the Central American countries since 2014, the tally is approaching one million. Almost none of them have been deported except for the brief period when Obama was shutting off the first wave in 2014. Now, there is no bottom in sight to this insanity if the president doesn’t set one now.
While some might not view hundreds of thousands of impoverished, unassimilable migrants as an invasion, the weaponizing of migration by the organizers of these caravans is certainly making this an invasion, just like Castro did when he weaponized migration against us with the Mariel boatlift. Both in terms of the anti-American organizers of the caravans and the Mexican cartels who use the migrants as distractions to get in dangerous criminals and drugs, this is definitely an orchestrated event to take advantage of poor migrants to harm America. In some ways, the effects are more irreversible than those of a traditional invasion.
If Boeing, which is directly the subject of Trump’s FAA order, sued in a district court and a forum-shopped judge put an injunction on the order, would this administration allow these planes to fly? Now imagine a judge usurping the power to grant standing to foreign caravans or third-party groups representing them. No other president in any other era would allow this to go on.
The language of the relevant statute (section 212(f) of the INA) is as clear as can be:
Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.
Trump can halt all immigration and cross-border commerce for any reason if he determines it’s in the national interest. This is no weaker and in fact is much stronger than the authorizing statute to ground planes:
When the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration is of the opinion that an emergency exists related to safety in air commerce and requires immediate action, the Administrator, on the initiative of the Administrator or on complaint, may prescribe regulations and issue orders immediately to meet the emergency, with or without notice and without regard to this part and subchapter II of chapter 5 of title 5. [49 U.S. Code § 46105]
It’s time for the president to completely halt all acceptance of any credible fear claims at our border and immediately turn back anyone coming here. The Constitution and statute are on Trump’s side.
It’s also time for the administration to play diplomatic hardball with Mexico. NAFTA should be renegotiated again with the top priority focused not on trade issues but over Mexico holding any Central American migrants. The reality is that this move, if sustained, would not need to continue indefinitely, because the Central Americans will stop coming once they know they can’t come to the United States. They have no interest in flooding Mexico as an endpoint. Those who manage to get in anyway should be sent to tent cities with a “rocket docket” of immigration judges at the front lines, as we did during past migration influxes.
Trump has no choice but to assert commonsense powers already upheld by the Supreme Court numerous times. What is he waiting for? Nothing will change with this election, even in the best-case scenario. Republicans, and certainly not conservatives, will not secure 60 votes in the Senate, even if they win back control of the House and Trump is re-elected. This invasion will continue to spiral out of control, yet pigs will fly before Congress will act. And as I’ve noted before, passing new laws won’t even help anyway, because the judicial-supremacy courts are asserting that Trump can’t follow existing laws of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Congress can never write a statute more unambiguous and granting the president more unconditional power to shut off even legal immigration than 212(f).
We either have the will to be a sovereign nation or we don’t. Everything else is just an excuse and a distraction.
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.