Sebastian Gorka America First with Sebastian Gorka
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America First with Sebastian Gorka
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LIVE: Mon-Fri, 3-6PM, ET

President Trump Can Declare a National Emergency

In 1976, the National Emergencies Act was unanimously passed by the United States Congress. Its intention was to allow for American presidents to have sweeping executive power to deal with national crises. As the eminent legal scholar, Jonathan Turley, recently pointed out not only did Congress grant presidents this immense power, but a bevy of subsequent federal regulations allow for the president to “declare an immigration emergency.” Such broad executive authority, it was believed would be the best way to handle “an influx of aliens which either is of such magnitude or exhibits such other characteristics that effective administration of the immigration laws of the United States is beyond the existing capabilities [of authorities] in the affected areas.”

That is precisely what the country is faced with today along its southwestern border with Mexico. Regardless of what the “mainstream” media insists, the border is hotbed of violence and other human suffering. The fact that local authorities are overwhelmed by the threats along the border and that, until the rise of Donald Trump to the presidency, the federal government did not care one bit about addressing the illegal immigration problem, only ensured that the country would be facing a true emergency along its border.

Violence in Texas border towns alone have reached historic levels. Shortly before President Trump’s arrival at the border town of McAllen, Texas, Mexican authorities adjacent to McAllen engaged in a fierce firefight with drug cartels. After the firefight ended, Mexican police uncovered a mass grave of 21 dead Mexicans whose bodies were so badly burned and maimed that they could not be identified. Also, a 33-foot tunnel was discovered leading into the United States from Mexico which authorities believe was used to smuggle tons of illicit narcotics and to traffic human beings—many of them minors—into the United States from Mexico. Keep in mind that one-in-three young girls and women being trafficked into the United States by Mexican coyotes are sexually assaulted along their journey.

Such threats occur on a routine basis. In fact, the Mexican Drug War has killed more people—military, criminal, and civilians alike—since 2006 than both the American wars in Afghanistan and Iraq combined.

Because of the National Emergencies Act of 1974, as well as the fact that the president of the United States is mandated with managing (and resolving) national crises, President Trump has limitless authority to do whatever it takes to resolve the matter. There’s something more, also, regarding the declaration of emergencies. Previously, presidents from both parties have been given a wide berth to declare and resolve emergency situations. In 2009, President Barack Obama declared a national emergency to handle a national outbreak of swine flu. Famously, George W. Bush declared a state of emergency following 9/11.

According to U.S. News and World Report, 31 national emergencies declared by previous presidents that remain active today (most states of emergency must be renewed annually). Below is a list (compiled by the “Never Trump” CNN of all places) of the 31 ongoing states of emergencies, beginning with the Carter Administration until the present time:

  1. Blocking Iranian Government Property (Nov. 14, 1979)

  2. Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction (Nov. 14, 1994)

  3. Prohibiting Transactions with Terrorists Who Threaten to Disrupt the Middle East Peace Process (January 23, 1995)

  4. Prohibiting Certain Transactions with Respect to the Development of Iranian Petroleum Resources (March 15, 1995)

  5. Blocking Assets and Prohibiting Transactions with Significant Narcotics Traffickers (October 21, 1995)

  6. Regulations of the Anchorage and Movement of Vessels with Respect to Cuba (March 1, 1996)

  7. Blocking Sudanese Government Property and Prohibiting Transactions with Sudan (November 3, 1997)

  8. Blocking Property of Persons Who Threaten International Stabilization Efforts in the Western Balkans (June 26, 2001)

  9. Continuation of Export Control Regulations (August 17, 2001)

  10. Declaration of National Emergency by Reason of Certain Terrorist Attacks (September 14, 2001)

  11. Blocking Property and Prohibiting Transactions with Persons who Commit, Threaten to Commit, or Support Terrorism (September 23, 2001)

  12. Blocking Property of Persons Undermining Democratic Processes or Institutions in Zimbabwe (March 6, 2003)

  13. Protecting the Development Fund for Iraq and Certain Other Property in Which Iraq has an Interest (May 22, 2003)

  14. Blocking Property of Certain Persons and Prohibiting the Export of Certain Goods to Syria (May 11, 2004)

  15. Blocking Property of Certain Persons Undermining Democratic Processes or Institutions in Belarus (June 16, 2006)

  16. Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (October 27, 2006)

  17. Blocking Property of Persons Undermining the Sovereignty of Lebanon or Its Democratic Processes and Institutions (August 1, 2007)

  18. Continuing Certain Restrictions with Respect to North Korea and North Korean Nationals (June 26, 2008)

  19. Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Conflict in Somalia (April 12, 2010)

  20. Blocking Property and Prohibiting Certain Transactions Related to Libya (February 25, 2011)

  21. Blocking Property of Transnational Criminal Organizations (July 25, 2011)

  22. Blocking Property of Persons Threatening the Peace, Security, or Stability of Yemen (May 16, 2012)

  23. Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Ukraine (March 6, 2014)

  24. Blocking Property of Certain Persons With Respect to South Sudan (April 3, 2014)

  25. Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Conflict in the Central African Republic (May 12, 2014)

  26. Blocking Property and Suspending Entry of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Venezuela (March 9, 2015)

  27. Blocking the Property of Certain Persons Engaging in Significant Malicious Cyber-Enabled Activities (April 1, 2015)

  28. Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Burundi (November 23, 2015)

  29. Blocking the Property of Persons Involved in Serious Human Rights Abuse or Corruption (December 20, 2017)

  30. Imposing Certain Sanctions in the Event of Foreign Interference in a United States Election (September 12, 2018)

  31. Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Nicaragua (November 27, 2018)

The president has the capability to order the Pentagon, with its massive defense budget, to begin shifting money and personnel around to begin construction of a big, desperately needed border wall. Such a barrier—whether it be concrete or steel—would help to mitigate the ceaseless flow of illegal immigration into the United States and allow for America’s besieged border agents to have a chance at controlling the border. Without proper border security and immigration policies, the United States will continue to see threats flow into our territory.

AMERICA First is the newest nationally-syndicated radio show in the United States, part of the Salem Radio Network. The host, Sebastian Gorka PhD., served most recently as Deputy Assistant for Strategy to the President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, and is author of the New York Times bestselling book “Defeating Jihad.” His latest book is “Why We Fight: Defeating America’s Enemies – With No Apologies.” You can follow him on Twitter @SebGorka, on Facebook, and on Instagram @sebastian_gorka. AMERICA First is available on the iTunes podcast app, streams live at, and is on YouTube. You can contact him here.

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