President Trump: Sixty Seconds to Secure the U.S.-Mexican Border

20170120-trump-sigThe following is a summary of the paper I wrote to advise the Trump transition.

In sixty seconds on Inauguration Day, President Donald J. Trump can dramatically safeguard our border with Mexico.

I have inspected vulnerable regions of our border, and witnessed the absence of fencing or even roads for patrols, as well as areas with only vehicle barriers that offer zero resistance for pedestrian intrusions.

Building the wall will halt most illegal immigration, drug smuggling, human trafficking, terrorist infiltration, and even allow for limiting the spread of pandemic diseases. However, President Trump can take several immediate actions on Inauguration Day to strengthen our border security until the wall is completed.

On day one, the administration should make a public announcement that all immigration laws will be strictly enforced and that security at the border will be greatly increased. This announcement will deter many who are planning to make the dangerous trek to illegally cross our border.

On day one, the president should sign an executive order to deploy ten thousand or more National Guard troops to protect our border. The presence of additional forces at the border’s weakest points will deter most illegals from approaching our border, and they would arrest those who ignore the warnings and cross the border.

On day one, the president should sign an executive order to start building the border fencing authorized by the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA), the Secure Fence Act of 2006 and the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2008.

These laws authorized construction of 700-850 miles of fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border, as well as “physical barriers” which could be construed to be a wall. IIRIRA Section 102(a) does not limit what form physical barriers may take.

About 36 miles of fencing following the requirements were built, offering the ability to build a wall or fencing on 664-814 miles of the border without further authorizations.

Current and unobligated prior year balances of appropriated funds for border security could be used to start immediate construction until Congress approves the full funding.

On day one, the president should sign an executive order instructing the Attorney General and all law enforcement forces in the United States to strictly enforce 8 U.S. Code § 1324, “Bringing in and harboring certain aliens.”

This law prohibits any harboring of and aid to illegals, and would therefore outlaw sanctuary cities. The law is very wide in scope, and allows for the criminal prosecution of any person or official who knowingly aids illegals.

On day one, the president should repeal the 2009 regulation, “Parole of arriving aliens found to have a credible fear of persecution or torture.” U.S. asylum law offers a safe refuge to those escaping violence and religious or political persecution. The Obama regulation transformed asylum laws into a free admittance pass for illegals by releasing into the U.S. virtually all who claimed a “credible fear of harm,” instead of detaining asylum applicants until a hearing to prove their qualifications.

The result was that asylum requests leapt from 8,000 in 2009 to 80,000 in 2015. By repealing the regulation, true asylum seekers would still receive protection, but eliminate false claims by illegals.

On day one, the president should repeal an Obama regulation which allows easier admittance by persons who provided limited material support to terrorist organizations. Repealing the “Exercise of authority under section 212(d)(3)(B)(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act” will enhance our security against potential terrorists entering the U.S.

On day one, the president should sign an order to repeal the Central American Minors (CAM) Refugee/Parole Program, which contributed to the increase of unaccompanied minors entering the U.S. from 8,000 in 2008 to 69,000 in 2014. The CAM in-country centers are a magnet for minors in Central America seeking to be granted expedited admission the U.S., and they are often flown to the U.S. at taxpayers’ expense and given resettlement money and benefits.

CAM and the promise of amnesty inspired tens of thousands more minors to make the dangerous trek to cross the Mexican border.

On day one, the administration should launch a public website that explains the goals for the wall, shows photos, live videos and statistics of border crossings by illegals, and would show progress as border security increases and the construction of the wall commences.

America won World War II in less than three and a half years, and built tens of thousands of ships, tanks, and airplanes in those few years. We landed Americans on the Moon just eight years after President John F. Kennedy gave the order. Building the border wall in four years would be simpler by orders of magnitude.

In just sixty seconds on his first day in office, President Trump can make the greatest progress to secure our border in history, as well as take the first steps to actually build the wall. Whether these are enacted on inauguration day or in due time, America’s security will be greatly increased.

Art Harman was the Legislative Director for Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas) in the 113th Congress and is a veteran policy analyst and grass-roots political expert. His expertise includes foreign relations, border security/amnesty, national security, and NASA/space policy. Harman developed the strategy to kill the 2013 Senate “gang of eight” amnesty bill as violating the Origination Clause. He is a frequent guest on radio shows on key policy issues.