Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) told Breitbart News in an exclusive interview on Wednesday that President Donald J. Trump ought to declare a national emergency as well as deploy the military to the southern border to save American lives from the deleterious effects of illegal immigration.
During a Tuesday House Armed Services Committee hearing with Under Secretary of Defense for Policy John Rood, Rood confirmed to Brooks that President Trump could use United States Code 10 (USC) § 284 to build a wall along the border using the military.
Brooks joins a growing number of Republicans, such as Reps. Jim Jordan (R-OH), Mark Meadows (R-NC), and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) in calling for President Trump to use national emergency powers to build the wall, especially if Congress fails to find a way to fund a border wall by February 15.
The Alabama conservative told Breitbart News how this specific code would enable the president to build a barrier along the southern border without declaring a national emergency or obtaining funds through Congress.
Brooks told Breitbart News, “We have a national emergency at the border, the President of the United States ought to declare a national emergency to save roughly 50 American lives per day, or, over 15,000 American lives per year. I encourage the President to use the United States Code 10 Section 284, which empowers the President of the United States to order America’s military to the border, to assist law enforcement agents in the fight against drugs and transnational crime. Interestingly, 10 U.S.C. 284 which has already been approved by Congress, which has already been signed by a president, empowers the Pentagon to deploy both active military and national guard troops to transport personnel, supplies and equipment, establish and operate bases of operation, detect and monitor surface traffic in Mexico. And, within 25 miles of the border in the United States, to construct roads, fences, lighting, to block drugs and smuggling corridors in the aerial and ground reconnaissance.”
Brooks continued, “For emphasis, if you look Webster’s dictionary, Oxford Dictionary, and the like, the word ‘fences,’ it includes barriers, and that is exactly what we need on the southern border, a barrier that will stop illegal aliens and drug traffickers from crossing our southern border.”
Brooks also emphasized to Breitbart News that that, unlike current stipulations in the Continuing Appropriations Act of 2019, 10 USC 284 would allow the president to build any type of barrier on the southern border. Previous appropriations bills such as the Continuing Appropriations Act of 2019 limits the president to building a steel slat or steel bollard-style barriers along the border.
“It can be any type of barrier that is necessary to prevent people that we don’t want coming into our country, intruding into our country,” Brooks said. “Now, keep in mind that the primary function is to stop drug trafficking and to stop transnational organized crime but it has the incidental benefits of stopping illegal aliens.”
Brooks conceded that using 10 USC 284 gives Trump a limited budget, however, Brooks also suggested that the president to use the National Emergencies Act of 1976, which would allow to the president to unlock more federal spending, such as the Military Construction (MILCON) budget.
Breitbart News Legal Editor Ken Klukowski has illustrated how President Trump has the legal authority under the National Emergencies Act of 1976 to reappropriate funds to build a wall along the southern border.
The Alabama congressman said, “10 USC Sec. 284 empowers to deploy the United States military at our border to do things such as constructing barriers, to prevent drug traffickers and incidentally illegal aliens from entering the United States. The President of the United States doesn’t need any more authority from Congress to dop that, on the downside is its funding limitations. There are smaller dollars available when you use this provision of the United States code versus the dollars that are available should the President of the United States declare a national emergency. I urge President Trump to do both.”
To justify the use of a national emergency power to build the wall, Brooks pointed towards the loss of American live through illegal immigrants as well as illicit drugs pouring through the southern border.
“We lose a minimum of 15,000 American lives every year at the hands of illegal aliens and because our porous southern border allows heroin, fentanyl, cocaine, and other dangerous poisonous drugs into our society that result in overdoses and then result in tens of thousands of dead Americans,” Brooks said. “Now, 2,000 illegal aliens are apprehended each year by federal law enforcement officers, for the commission of homicides, killings of Americans on American soil, that to me justifies the president’s deployment of troops on the southern border and that to me justifies the declaration of a national emergency.”
Further, instead of protecting other countries with foreign deployments, Brooks said that the United States’ military should protect Americans at the southern border.
Brooks asked rhetorically, “What are we doing with our military now? Gosh, we’re defending the people on the border’s of South Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, a dozen or so European nations, wouldn’t it be nice if our military was defending Americans who are being killed on American soil? In that vein, I think it’s very important that we deploy our military as necessary to protect our country. That is a primary function of our military. It’s not just protecting foreigners in foreign lands, it’s also protecting Americans on American soil.”
Congressman Brooks told Breitbart News that he remains skeptical of Congress’s ability to come to a compromise in its conference committee that would fulfill Trump’s request for a substantial down payment on a border wall.
“Just the three weeks that the Democrats have forced us to wait has resulted in a thousand dead Americans,” Brooks said.
Brooks said that Democrats put far greater value their quest for power than their desire to protect the American people.
Rep. Brooks said, “For Democrats, it’s clear that their lust for political power outweighs their desire to save Americans from death at the hands of illegal aliens or the poisonous drugs that so freely cross our southern border.”