Reader: Does Trump have the power to declare a national emergency, build the wall in defiance of Congress?

Dear Editor,

Our nation seems to be treading uncertain days. We have a president who campaigned and won promising to address the illegal immigrant issue on our Southern border. Yet, Congress is defying him — especially since the Democrats have now won control of the House. Trump has strongly indicated he is, in fact, building the wall — even if it means declaring a national emergency defying Congress! Several legal scholars and many of the left-leaning media are saying he does not have that power. Does he?

This question has been bounced around since the 1950s. During the Korean Conflict, President Harry Truman attempted to seize the steel industry to support the war. The U.S. Supreme Court said no.

Then in 1976, Congress passed into law the National Emergencies Powers Act that granted sweeping powers to the president. This law specifically addresses an, “influx of aliens,” references uncontrolled flood of immigrants, criminal activity and demands upon law enforcement.

Since its implementation, this act has been used roughly 30 times, with little or no Democratic objection. In 2007, the Congressional Research Service stated in a report to Congress this act grants undisputed powers to the president to seize property, seize transportation and communication, declare martial law and restrict travel. Under the emergency powers granted to the president here, this even circumvents the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 that prohibited federal forces (military) from enforcing civilian law.

So, media and some academia’s assertion Trump does not have Constitutional power to declare a national emergency and build the wall is uninformed, misdirected and just flat wrong.

Please support our president for the sake of our national security.

Sources: Jonathan Turley, professor of Constitutional Law at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

The Hill, Jan. 10, 2019, online

James W. Anderson