Congressman Scott DesJarlais issued the following statement in support of President Trump’s decision to declare a national emergency at the U.S.-Mexico border:
“Sophisticated international cartels, some of the most dangerous criminal and terrorist organizations in the world, are operating just across the border from the United States in Mexico. They partner with foreign adversaries, including Cuba, Venezuela, Iran and China, and smuggle drugs as well as human beings into our neighborhoods, including in my home state of Tennessee. Constituents in my district are suffering from the opioid epidemic. Mexican cartels produce or distribute most heroin, fentanyl, cocaine, and methamphetamine here, killing tens of thousands of Americans every year, not including victims of MS-13 and other violent gangs, which have infiltrated recent migrant caravans. However, the equivalent of a migrant caravan enters our country almost weekly. These forces are destabilizing and deadly to people on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border, but particularly for the less fortunate among us. While wealthy elites erect walls for protection, poor- and working-class citizens must live with the consequences of insecure borders and years of congressional inaction. Unfortunately, Congress has largely abdicated its responsibility, placing the onus on President Trump to fulfill the federal government’s most important constitutional duty: national security.
“Under legal authority Congress has granted the executive, which Barack Obama also used to combat Mexican cartels, the President has the power to declare a national emergency, in order to fund the construction of new border barriers at dangerous weak points. As a fiscal conservative, constitutionalist, and strong advocate for the military, I believe the need is clear and pressing, the law supports immediate action, and ample funding exists to address this crisis.”