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Mcallen, TX - At The Border, Trump Moves Closer To Emergency Declaration (Photos)

Published on: January 10, 2019 06:40 PM
By: AP
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President Donald Trump shakes hands with U.S. Border Patrol Air and Marine Operations Director Don Sperling as he visits the banks of the Rio Grande River with Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) during the president's visit to the U.S. - Mexico border in Mission, Texas, U.S., January 10, 2019. REUTERS/Leah MillisPresident Donald Trump shakes hands with U.S. Border Patrol Air and Marine Operations Director Don Sperling as he visits the banks of the Rio Grande River with Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) during the president's visit to the U.S. - Mexico border in Mission, Texas, U.S., January 10, 2019. REUTERS/Leah Millis

Mcallen, TX - Taking the shutdown fight to the Mexican border, President Donald Trump edged closer Thursday to declaring a national emergency in an extraordinary end run around Congress to fund his long-promised border wall. Pressure was mounting to find an escape hatch from the three-week impasse that has closed parts of the government, cutting scattered services and leaving hundreds of thousands of workers without pay.

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Trump, visiting McAllen, Texas, and the Rio Grande to highlight what he says is a crisis of drugs and crime, said that “if for any reason we don’t get this going”—an agreement with House Democrats who have refused to approve the $5.7 billion he demands for the wall — “I will declare a national emergency.”

Some 800,000 workers, more than half of them still on the job, were to miss their first paycheck on Friday under the stoppage, and Washington was close to setting a dubious record for the longest government shutdown in the nation’s history. Those markers — along with growing effects to national parks, food inspections and the economy overall — left some Republicans on Capitol Hill increasingly uncomfortable with Trump’s demands.

Asked about the plight of those going without pay, the president shifted the focus, saying he felt badly “for people that have family members that have been killed” by criminals who came over the border.

Trump was consulting with White House attorneys and allies about using presidential emergency powers to take unilateral action to construct the wall over the objections of Congress. He claimed his lawyers told him the action would withstand legal scrutiny “100 percent.” But such a move to bypass Congress’ constitutional control of the nation’s purse strings would spark certain legal challenges and bipartisan cries of executive overreach.

“We’re either going to have a win, make a compromise —because I think a compromise is a win for everybody— or I will declare a national emergency,” Trump said before departing the White House for his politically flavored visit to the border. He wore his campaign-slogan “Make America Great Again” cap throughout.

It was not clear what a compromise might entail, and there were no indications that one was in the offing. Trump says he won’t reopen the government without money for the wall. Democrats say they favor measures to bolster border security but oppose the long, impregnable barrier that Trump envisions.

No negotiations were taking place at the Capitol.

President Donald Trump XXX after arriving at McAllen International Airport for a visit to the southern border, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019, in McAllen, Texas. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)    President Donald Trump speaks at a roundtable on immigration and border security at U.S. Border Patrol McAllen Station, during a visit to the southern border, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019, in McAllen, Texas. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)    President Donald Trump XXX during a briefing on border security at the Rio Grande on the southern border, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019, in McAllen, Texas. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)President Donald Trump XXX after arriving at McAllen International Airport for a visit to the southern border, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019, in McAllen, Texas. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)  President Donald Trump speaks at a roundtable on immigration and border security at U.S. Border Patrol McAllen Station, during a visit to the southern border, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019, in McAllen, Texas. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)  President Donald Trump XXX during a briefing on border security at the Rio Grande on the southern border, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019, in McAllen, Texas. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said at one point that he didn’t “see a path in Congress” to end the shutdown, then stated later that enough was enough: “It is time for President Trump to use emergency powers to fund the construction of a border wall/barrier.”

Visiting a border patrol station in McAllen, Trump viewed tables piled with weapons and narcotics. Like nearly all drugs trafficked across the border, they were intercepted by agents at official ports of entry, he was told, and not in the remote areas where he wants to extend tall barriers.

Still, he declared, “A wall works. ... Nothing like a wall.”

He argued that the U.S. can’t solve the problem without a “very substantial barrier” along the border, but offered exaggerations about the effectiveness of border walls and current apprehensions of those crossing illegally.

Sitting among border patrol officers, state and local officials and military representatives, Trump insisted he was “winning” the shutdown fight and criticized Democrats for asserting he was manufacturing a sense of crisis in order to declare an emergency. “What is manufactured is the use of the word ‘manufactured,’” Trump said.

As he arrived in Texas, several hundred protesters near the airport in McAllen chanted and waved signs opposing a wall. Across the street, a smaller group chanted back: “Build that wall!”

In Washington, federal workers denounced Trump at a rally with congressional Democrats, demanding he reopen the government so they can get back to work.

On Capitol Hill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi accused the president of engaging in political games to fire up his most loyal supporters, suggesting that a heated meeting Wednesday with legislators at the White House had been “a setup” so that Trump could walk out of it.

In an ominous sign for those seeking a swift end to the showdown, Trump announced he was canceling his trip to Davos, Switzerland, scheduled for later this month, citing Democrats’ “intransigence” on border security. He was to leave Jan. 21 to attend the World Economic Forum.

The partial shutdown would set a record early Saturday, stretching beyond the 21-day closure that ended on Jan 6, 1996 during George W. Bush’s administration.

President Donald Trump speaks with a U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agent as he visits the banks of the Rio Grande River with Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen during the president's visit to the U.S. - Mexico border in Mission, Texas, U.S., January 10, 2019.  (Credit: REUTERS)President Donald Trump speaks with a U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agent as he visits the banks of the Rio Grande River with Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen during the president’s visit to the U.S. - Mexico border in Mission, Texas, U.S., January 10, 2019.  (Credit: REUTERS)
A U.S. Border Patrol agent listens as U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a visit along the banks of the Rio Grande River on the U.S.- Mexico border in Mission, Texas, U.S., January 10, 2019.  (Credit: REUTERS)A U.S. Border Patrol agent listens as U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a visit along the banks of the Rio Grande River on the U.S.- Mexico border in Mission, Texas, U.S., January 10, 2019.  (Credit: REUTERS)
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a visit along the banks of the Rio Grande River on the U.S.- Mexico border in Mission, Texas, U.S., January 10, 2019.  (Credit: REUTERS)U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a visit along the banks of the Rio Grande River on the U.S.- Mexico border in Mission, Texas, U.S., January 10, 2019.  (Credit: REUTERS)
U.S. President Donald Trump talks to the media as he stands with U.S. Border Patrol agents on the banks of the Rio Grande river during his visit to the U.S. - Mexico border in Mission, Texas, U.S., January 10, 2019.  (Credit: REUTERS)U.S. President Donald Trump talks to the media as he stands with U.S. Border Patrol agents on the banks of the Rio Grande river during his visit to the U.S. - Mexico border in Mission, Texas, U.S., January 10, 2019.  (Credit: REUTERS)
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks next to U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and border patrol agents as he visits the banks of the Rio Grande River on the U.S.- Mexico border in Mission, Texas, U.S., January 10, 2019.  (Credit: REUTERS)U.S. President Donald Trump speaks next to U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and border patrol agents as he visits the banks of the Rio Grande River on the U.S.- Mexico border in Mission, Texas, U.S., January 10, 2019.  (Credit: REUTERS)
President Donald Trump shakes hands with U.S. Border Patrol Air and Marine Operations Director Don Sperling as he visits the banks of the Rio Grande River with Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) during the president's visit to the U.S. - Mexico border in Mission, Texas, U.S., January 10, 2019.  (Credit: REUTERS)President Donald Trump shakes hands with U.S. Border Patrol Air and Marine Operations Director Don Sperling as he visits the banks of the Rio Grande River with Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) during the president’s visit to the U.S. - Mexico border in Mission, Texas, U.S., January 10, 2019.  (Credit: REUTERS)
President Donald Trump talks with U.S. Border Patrol agents as he attends a roundtable discussion at the U.S. Border Patrol Station near the U.S. - Mexico border in McAllen, Texas, U.S., January 10, 2019.  (Credit: REUTERS)President Donald Trump talks with U.S. Border Patrol agents as he attends a roundtable discussion at the U.S. Border Patrol Station near the U.S. - Mexico border in McAllen, Texas, U.S., January 10, 2019.  (Credit: REUTERS)
President Donald Trump speaks to reporters as he visits the banks of the Rio Grande River with Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and U.S. Customs and Border Patrol officers and agents during the president's visit to the U.S. - Mexico border in Mission, Texas, U.S., January 10, 2019.  (Credit: REUTERS)President Donald Trump speaks to reporters as he visits the banks of the Rio Grande River with Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and U.S. Customs and Border Patrol officers and agents during the president’s visit to the U.S. - Mexico border in Mission, Texas, U.S., January 10, 2019.  (Credit: REUTERS)
President Donald Trump tours the U.S. border with Mexico Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019, in McAllen, Texas. (Credit: AP)President Donald Trump tours the U.S. border with Mexico Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019, in McAllen, Texas. (Credit: AP)
President Donald Trump speaks as tours the U.S. border with Mexico at the Rio Grande on the southern border, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019, in McAllen, Texas, as Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, left, and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, listen. (Credit: AP)President Donald Trump speaks as tours the U.S. border with Mexico at the Rio Grande on the southern border, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019, in McAllen, Texas, as Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, left, and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, listen. (Credit: AP)
President Donald Trump speaks to reporters as he visits the banks of the Rio Grande River with Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and U.S. Customs and Border Patrol officers and agents during the president's visit to the U.S. - Mexico border in Mission, Texas, U.S., January 10, 2019.  (Credit: REUTERS)President Donald Trump speaks to reporters as he visits the banks of the Rio Grande River with Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and U.S. Customs and Border Patrol officers and agents during the president’s visit to the U.S. - Mexico border in Mission, Texas, U.S., January 10, 2019.  (Credit: REUTERS)
President Donald Trump salutes a U.S. Border Patrol helicopter with U.S. Border Patrol agents as it flies over the Rio Grande River during his visit to the U.S. - Mexico border in Mission, Texas, U.S., January 10, 2019.  (Credit: REUTERS)President Donald Trump salutes a U.S. Border Patrol helicopter with U.S. Border Patrol agents as it flies over the Rio Grande River during his visit to the U.S. - Mexico border in Mission, Texas, U.S., January 10, 2019.  (Credit: REUTERS)


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Read Comments (14)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Jan 10, 2019 at 07:49 PM Chaim Meilich Says:

one million ILLEGALS enter our country each and every single year, yet the liberals try to tell us that this isn't an emergency.

2

 Jan 10, 2019 at 07:57 PM qazxc Says:

Wow. You'd think the Secret Service would keep Trumpty Dumpty from entering a war zone! What a brave little president! Entering an unsecured crises zone, even with bone spurs.

If Trumpty Dumpty has a great fall of his wall, will the border patrol award him an Orange Heart?

3

 Jan 10, 2019 at 08:03 PM Cricket Says:

Francis Underwood successfully employed this same concept.

4

 Jan 10, 2019 at 09:38 PM house intelligence Says:

Democrats are not traditionally known for their fiscal rectitude but are being particularly parsimonious over what ultimately amounts to a very small percentage of the federal budget. (In 2018, the feds spent $4.173 trillion overall, meaning the border wall would amount to just 1/10th of 1 percent of current annual federal spending.)

Indeed, these lawmakers have happily funded various projects over the years that cost far more than the border wall — many of which had very questionable value. Below are some examples of wasteful federal spending projects that individually cost more than the proposed border wall (some data courtesy of Citizens Against Government Waste):

“Rural Utility Service.” This program costs taxpayers $8.2 billion/year and has no actual purpose after its original intent — bringing electricity to rural communities — was long ago achieved. It’s now being used to bring broadband access to small communities (usually with populations of less than 20,000). However there’s no indication the “beneficiaries” of this expensive government agency actually appreciate the program and the majority of its projects are not completed on time or within budget.

5

 Jan 10, 2019 at 11:28 PM Phineas Says:

Reply to #1  
Chaim Meilich Says:

one million ILLEGALS enter our country each and every single year, yet the liberals try to tell us that this isn't an emergency.

Number is incorrect.

6

 Jan 11, 2019 at 12:08 AM ComplicatedTimes Says:

Um,1996 happened to be the time Bill Clinton was President,and not as written at the end of this news item.

7

 Jan 11, 2019 at 12:29 AM VP Pence Says:

Reply to #1  
Chaim Meilich Says:

one million ILLEGALS enter our country each and every single year, yet the liberals try to tell us that this isn't an emergency.

Most enter legally and then overstay their visas.

8

 Jan 11, 2019 at 03:42 AM Rivka Says:

Reply to #1  
Chaim Meilich Says:

one million ILLEGALS enter our country each and every single year, yet the liberals try to tell us that this isn't an emergency.

If it is such an emergency, then why didn’t Trump push this through in the past two years when Republicans controlled both houses of Congress ?

9

 Jan 11, 2019 at 06:52 AM Shlomo-1 Says:

Reply to #1  
Chaim Meilich Says:

one million ILLEGALS enter our country each and every single year, yet the liberals try to tell us that this isn't an emergency.

The majority of illegals are those who overstayed their visas, not those who entered via the desert.

10

 Jan 11, 2019 at 08:43 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
Chaim Meilich Says:

one million ILLEGALS enter our country each and every single year, yet the liberals try to tell us that this isn't an emergency.

We need a minimum 3 million Illegals a year just to clean toilets what americans dont want to do anymore. In BP, Wili, 5Town,Monsey,Flatbush,Laklewood etc where 70% of Frumme Yiden live I would say that 80-90% of cleaning Ladies are illegals. Same in Yeshivas. Same in Trump Hotels. Trump knows this very well. He built Trump Tower with illegals and was fined. He only invented this WALL when he started to run and needed the White Supermacist Racists support. The dont like Immigrants. Its a shame that someone with a Frumme Name agrees with their racist Shiteh.

11

 Jan 11, 2019 at 08:52 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
Chaim Meilich Says:

one million ILLEGALS enter our country each and every single year, yet the liberals try to tell us that this isn't an emergency.

There is no doubt in my mind that the highest % of Illegals live and work for Frumme Yiden. Example: Rubashkin had 350 Illegals out of 500 workers or 70% of his workforce. (Its less than 5% illegals in america) I doubt there is a single Large employer in the USA with so many illegals and is not owned by Frume Yiden. Lakewood: Make your own estimate. About 25-35% Illegals or more? Same wherever frumme live. You should Daven to Hashem every day that a White Supermacist Neo-Nazi should not figure this out and start calling Immigration wherever Yiden live. Beth Yakov and Beth Ruchel must have 10.000's graduates keyn yirbu. Can you name one cleaning lady? can you name one who doesnt have a illegal cleaning lady?

12

 Jan 11, 2019 at 08:53 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
Chaim Meilich Says:

one million ILLEGALS enter our country each and every single year, yet the liberals try to tell us that this isn't an emergency.

You should love the Immigrants. Abolish all borders, gey lernen a bisele Tayreh stotz narishkeits.

13

 Jan 11, 2019 at 09:54 AM qazxc Says:

Reply to #1  
Chaim Meilich Says:

one million ILLEGALS enter our country each and every single year, yet the liberals try to tell us that this isn't an emergency.

You tell us - how is this a a national security emergency?


And why wasn't it a national security emergency two weeks ago when Republicans controlled all three branches of government?

14

 Jan 11, 2019 at 01:24 PM ayinglefunadorf Says:

Reply to #8  
Rivka Says:

If it is such an emergency, then why didn’t Trump push this through in the past two years when Republicans controlled both houses of Congress ?

The same reason why they didnt Repeall OBAMACARE on day one. The Reps like Obamacare and open borders just like the Dems.

15

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