Students React to President Trump’s National Emergency

February 28, 2019

So far, President Trump has failed to gain bipartisan support for his border wall proposal. In hopes of gaining traction on the border wall without Congressional approval, the president declared a national emergency, citing the 1976 National Emergencies Act as his authority to do so. Many people have been left wondering what exactly this state of emergency entails, whether it’s wise or not to declare a state of emergency over the border at all, and when this will all be over. At least sixteen states and the ACLU are preparing to sue over the president’s decision. I asked three students to weigh in on President Trump’s choice to declare a state of emergency, and the political situation around it.


Photo: Lucas law on Unsplash  


What do you think of President Trump’s declaration of a state of national emergency?


Bethany: I think everyone is in the wrong here. Instead of figuring out a better way to go about things, everyone is too busy running hate campaigns against each other. They are all too focused on being opposed to the other side to actually help anyone. This led to either an eternal stalemate between both sides or someone doing something drastic. Which brings us to the state of emergency, a drastic measure. I don’t think it should have happened, but I don’t know of any other way this could have ended using my limited knowledge of everyone involved.


Theo: It’s a political move, but not a very smart one. It’s likely to either get voted down or struck down by the court, and if it doesn’t, it sets a dangerous precedent for other presidents to declare national emergencies over things that don’t really qualify as emergencies. For example, any progress Trump makes or hopes to make could be easily undone with another ‘national emergency’ declared by a new president.


Erika: I think that there are places along the border that need reinforcement, but he is misusing his power. His position is meant to be serving as a representative of the people. If the people are as divided as they are about this, then he should hold off acting. Starting small by reinforcing the parts of the border that need it is a much more realistic and reasonable response.


Many folks who are concerned about the national emergency are worried that the president might use this time as an abuse of his executive powers, or that his own citizens will be hurt by his actions. While other presidents have used the NEA in the past to maintain order or boost the government’s power in situations they deemed chaotic or violent, these students, as well as many others on social media and news forums, do not seem to be on the president’s side when it comes to his usage of NEA. Unless the state of emergency is terminated by Congress or the Court, if the president does not renew it, the NEA specifies the national emergency will expire after one year.


Lilia Taylor is 21 years old, studying English and Marketing at New Mexico State University. She hopes to have a job involving books someday, loves the smell of coffee (not so much the taste) and tries to get outside whenever she can.


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