Update: We made a video and new article that goes into more detail about this solution.
House Freedom Caucus chair Mark Meadows (R-NC) posted an idea that would start solving the border crisis, allow the President to open up the government, and avoid the use of a national emergency declaration. His solutions: 10 USC 274/284.
Democrats have made it extremely clear this shutdown is all about opposing Trump for them. It’s time to pursue other options. 10 USC 274/284 would allow for fence construction without national emergency. Protect our communities, build the wall, and forget unreasonable Democrats.
— Mark Meadows (@RepMarkMeadows) January 20, 2019
These provisions of general military powers deal with the “maintenance and operation of equipment” and “support for counterdrug activities and activities to counter transnational organized crime.” If you’re wondering what any of that has to do with the border wall President Trump wants, the answer is disappointing. They don’t allow for a wall.
But they do allow for a fence.
Specifically, it allows for:
“Construction of roads and fences and installation of lighting to block drug smuggling corridors across international boundaries of the United States.”
There would be no need to declare a national emergency to make it happen. Technically, the President wouldn’t even need to sign off. Congress has already appropriated powers to the Secretary of Defense to provide support “for other departments or agencies of the Federal Government or a State, local, or tribal law enforcement agencies” to help them fight transnational drug smuggling and organized crime at the border.
While no definition of a fence is detailed, it could be complicated to try to define steel slats as a fence. Nevertheless, fences like the one pictured above in Israel have proven their value.
Israel recently demonstrated with their fence on the Egyptian border that barriers work. They were able to cut illegal immigration to nearly zero after its completion in 2012. It’s under 150 miles worth of fence compared to nearly 2000 miles of border with Mexico, but considering what we have now – open air along most of the border – this would be an incredible improvement.
— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) January 17, 2019
It would be a huge political win for the President following the Democrats’ declining his offer to extend DACA protections yesterday. He could open up the government and immediately start building a barrier at the southern border without giving the Democrats anything. They will look foolish for not accepting the President’s offer, then losing everything while the President still secures the border.
The President should immediately act on Representative Meadows’ suggestion. No DACA extension. No national emergency declaration. Build the barrier at the border now and open up the government immediately. Everyone wins except Chuck and Nancy.