The house voted 236 to 174 on Sep. 27 to end the national emergency due to the overwhelming flow of migrants showing up at the southern border. President Donald Trump is expected to veto this resolution.
On Wednesday, the Senate passed the same resolution 54 to 41. This is the second time both chambers have tried to end the national emergency.
Trump called a national emergency after Congress refused to appropriate funds for a border wall, which led to over a month-long government shutdown.
The national emergency diverted $3.6 billion from military construction projects for the wall.
While touring the border earlier this month, Trump said the situation still constituted a national emergency.
“I think, really, the success is going to be when the wall is built, when human traffickers can’t go through,” Trump said.
Trump declared a national emergency at the border in February, two and a half months before the number of migrants reached a high of 144,000 in May.
Due to actions taken by the White House, the numbers of people apprehended at the border have gone down, but Border Patrol says it’s still above normal.
“Although we’ve had a 43 percent decrease from May to August of this year, we’re still 55 percent over last year. This is still a crisis,” chief patrol agent of San Diego sector Douglas Harrison said.
In August 64,000 were apprehended at the border.
Trafficking and Homicides at the Border
In fiscal 2018, Border Patrol agents apprehended 17,000 criminals entering the United States illegally.
In a bill-signing for trafficking victims Jan. 9, Trump said human trafficking “really hits a nerve.”
“We’re talking about, in many cases, women and children grabbed, thrown into the backseat of a car, or thrown into a van with no windows, with no—any form of air. Tape put across their mouths,” he said. “And they’re brought across the border. And they don’t go through checkpoints; they go through the emptiest spot they can find, with no walls, with no fences.”
In fiscal year 2018, ICE made more than 1,500 human-trafficking arrests, Trump said. Most for sex trafficking.
The Texas Department of Public Safety recently released a report that showed almost 200,000 illegal aliens were booked into local Texas jails in the seven years ending Dec. 31, 2018.
Those aliens accounted for 624 homicide charges, more than 38,000 drug charges, and 418 kidnapping charges.
“For the last seven years, we had over 4,000 people incarcerated that are illegal aliens in Texas jails for sexual assault,” said John Jones, chief of the department’s Intelligence and Counterterrorism division, during a roundtable at the White House on Jan. 12. “The sad thing is, 62 percent of them are sexual assault against children. And those are Texas children. Those are American children. Those are our children.”
The report also includes the number of crimes the illegal aliens were charged with beyond the seven-year period. Accounting for this, the homicide charges shoot up from 624 to 2,945 over their whole criminal career in Texas. The number of sexual-assault charges reached 8,507.
Securing Funding for Border Barrier
Since taking office, Trump has demanded that Congress fund construction of a wall on the southern border—his landmark campaign promise. Democrats, whose votes are needed to reach the 60-vote threshold in the Senate, have thwarted all attempts.
In December 2018, when the president stood by his campaign promise and refused to sign the spending bill that arrived on his desk without funds for a border wall, Congress missed a deadline to fund the government, triggering a partial shutdown. The shutdown stretched for 35 days, between Dec. 22 and Jan. 25, the longest in United States history.
On Feb. 14, after a protracted political battle, Congress and the president approved $1.375 billion for construction of “primary pedestrian fencing” along the border in southeastern Texas. It was well short of Trump’s demands, but the president signed the funding, saying that he would get the money another way to address the humanitarian crisis on the southwest border.
Trump then declared a national emergency on Feb. 15, a move that enabled him to redirect Department of Defense funds, beyond what Congress approved, toward building the U.S.-Mexico border wall.
Trump enabled the transfer of billions from the military construction budget toward wall construction, and also ordered the shifting of an additional $3.1 billion, which didn’t require declaring a national emergency: $2.5 billion was transferred from Defense Department counter-drug activities and $601 million from the Treasury Department’s asset forfeiture fund.
On March 14, the Senate passed a privileged resolution to terminate Trump’s national border emergency declaration. The president then used his veto power for the first time in his presidency on March 15 to override that resolution. On March 26, the Democratic-led House failed to override Trump’s veto. At that point, the White House had secured $8.1 billion toward border wall construction.
NTD reporter Holly Kellum, Epoch Times reporters Charlotte Cuthbertson, Ivan Pentchoukov and Petr Svab contributed to this report.