In case you forgot about it, the wall is still a thing.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the border wall that is supposed to span the entirety of the southern border is still being fought about, and the debate about it just got a little more interesting. After the longest government shutdown in US history, which affected millions of people, there was still no conclusion on if the US Government would actually fund the border wall. If so, how would they end up paying for it?
And so here we are left as a nation, still wondering what was going on in the government, and if this was still being considered as a policy position. There weren’t any answers given, and it almost seemed as if it suddenly slipped the minds of the American people. That is, until February 15th, when media outlets were abuzz with the news that the United States President had just declared a state of emergency along the border. The emergency? An invasion. The New York Times quoted the President, “ It’s an invasion(…) We have an invasion of drugs and criminals coming into our country.”
This declaration comes highly contested across party lines. Democrats see this as an abuse of power, and even Republicans are also questioning whether or not this is even a constitutional move on the part of the executive. A national emergency entails that greater government money, greater military force and priority when it comes to policy building will be put towards the border wall. As it stands, this emergency state will effectively divert $3.6 billion from current militaristic projects, into the border wall construction. Current national emergencies by the United States concern the blockade of revenue and weapons from nations which commit human atrocities. The 9/11 attacks were also declared a national emergency as they took the lives of thousands of people. The border wall national emergency thus comes as a surprise when comparing against past and present national emergencies. The rationale for this wall comes with assertions that it is drugs, gang members and human trafficking. However, in a paper written by Vanda Felbab-Brown, it was found that drugs were no longer being trafficked on the back of those who cross the southern border without identification papers. Furthermore, the number of crossings across the border has been the lowest it has been in decades, with the majority of “illegal” immigration stemming from the overstay of visas. But that is another story entirely.
If you recall back to the 2016 campaign, the notion of a border wall was a major rallying point for President Trump and his supporters, with a consistent cacophony of “Build that Wall” at almost every rally. But this a stark contrast to the concerns of the rest of the world. In a study by Pew Research, in 13 out of the 26 nations surveyed (including the United States), 60 percent of all people studied stated that “global cyber-attacks were the threat of greatest concern this year.” It is unknown where the road will take us as a nation in the coming months. All we can hope is that our leaders will lead us down the path of justice and equality.