By Jon Dougherty
As the ACLU, the state of California, congressional Democrats and other Leftists line up to sue POTUS Donald Trump for issuing a national emergency declaration on Friday, lost in the “establishment” media’s breathless reporting of all the ways the president is a bigoted jerk who is going to get his when the case makes it to federal court is the fact that there’s nothing new under the sun here.
Specifically, while the press is busy playing its normal role of Democrat Party propaganda machine, few are reporting that POTUS Trump’s declaration was practically ripped out of former President Barack Obama’s ‘national emergency on the border’ playbook.
In July 2011, Obama cited the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.) (IEEPA), the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.) (NEA), and section 301 of title 3, United States Code to issue an executive order “Blocking Property of Transnational Criminal Organizations,” which also resulted in the declaration of a national emergency.
As we noted on Friday in listing all 31 current national emergencies, many of which are now decades old and extremely out of date, Obama’s order “came as crime by specific criminal organizations rose: Los Zetas (Mexico), The Brothers’ Circle (former Soviet Union countries), the Yakuza (Japan), and the Camorra (Italy).”
You may recognize one of the organizations Obama listed: the Los Zetas cartel from Mexico. Why is this a big deal?
Because, as noted by Law & Crime:
As it turns out, back in 2011 then-President Barack Obama issued an executive order “blocking property of transnational criminal organizations.” Obama cited his authority as granted through the Constitution to invoke the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, 50 U.S.C. 1701, and the National Emergencies Act, 50 U.S.C. 1601. The latter is the same legislation that Trump is citing to get funding for the wall to achieve his immigration reform goals. That executive order targeted a number of criminal organizations, including the Mexican Los Zetas cartel, an ally of the MS-13 gang President Trump has regularly called out as a danger to Americans.
“Drugs, gangs, and people — an invasion,” POTUS said on Friday in announcing that he would declare an emergency. “We have an invasion coming into this country.”
In fact, the president all but thanked Obama for issuing his 2011 order.
“We may be using one of the national emergencies that [Obama] signed having to do with criminal cartels… it’s a very good national emergency… we’re going to be using parts of it,” POTUS Trump said.
In declaring his emergency in July 2011, Obama said:
Such organizations are becoming increasingly sophisticated and dangerous to the United States; they are increasingly entrenched in the operations of foreign governments and the international financial system, thereby weakening democratic institutions, degrading the rule of law, and undermining economic markets. These organizations facilitate and aggravate violent civil conflicts and increasingly facilitate the activities of other dangerous persons. I, therefore, determine that significant transnational criminal organizations constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States, and hereby declare a national emergency to deal with that threat.
One of the “significant transnational criminal organizations” just happened to be a major Mexican drug cartel.
There’s more that POTUS Trump can rely on for his legal defense. For years the U.S. government has declared opioid abuse and the deaths it is causing an epidemic, which reeks of an emergency. In fact, the federal Health Resources & Services Administration calls it a “crisis.”
Who’s fueling this deadly epidemic? In large part the Mexican-based cartels. Chicago’s ABC 7 reported in November:
As Chinese drug profiteers have flooded U.S. markets with illicit opioids the past few years, fueling a raging and deadly epidemic, the traditional Mexican cartels are now elbowing their way into Chicago and other metro areas, according to a new report by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
DEA officials on Friday said that opioid overdose deaths last year hit the highest level ever recorded in the United States; 72,000 people dead from opioid-related OD deaths.
Heroin, fentanyl and other opioids continue to be the highest drug threat in the nation according to the National Drug Threat Assessment obtained Friday by the ABC7 I-Team.
Even though overdose deaths in Chicago and many other locations have begun to level off, the threat and death count are both still considered “high.”
Chicago, a longtime hub for Mexican heroin and cocaine imports to the U.S., is now also a feeder point for cartel shipments of illicit opioid drugs smuggled along the conventional supply lines.
Speaking of cocaine, one of the decades-old self-perpetuating national emergencies was issued by Bill Clinton in October 1995 — “The National Emergency With Respect to Blocking Assets and Prohibiting Transactions with Significant Narcotics Traffickers Centered in Colombia.” This order followed increased reports of drug cartels laundering money through American companies.
So if Colombian cocaine and Mexican opioids constituted the basis for previous national emergencies, POTUS Trump’s current declaration in which he cites “drugs” as part of the reason it is necessary certainly counts.
And if it leads to a significant drop in illegal immigration, so much the better.
Next up for this president after he’s reelected in 2020: Working with Attorney General William Barr to take on sanctuary cities.
- Follow Jon Dougherty on Twitter at @JonDougherty10
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