Climate Change, Not Border Security, is the Real National Emergency

Source: The Intercept

The shutdown might be over for now, but President Donald Trump’s threat to declare a national emergency still looms. The continuing resolution passed Friday afternoon does not contain funding for a border wall, and the president has suggested that if Congress doesn’t compromise on a funding plan within three weeks, he may still proclaim a national emergency at the border.

When Trump first threatened to use emergency powers to unlock $5.7 billion for his $20 billion border wall project, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. came out strongly against it — but not for humanitarian reasons or because he is concerned about an unmistakable creep toward authoritarianism. Rather, Rubio worried that normalizing the call for a state of emergency might make it easier for politicians to act on a genuine existential threat: “If today, the national emergency is border security,” said Rubio, “tomorrow, the national emergency might be climate change.”

Rubio is right to worry. Climate change is a legitimate emergency, unlike Trump’s border “crisis,” which is a fabrication sewn of foam-mouthed racism and vain partisan panic. Security and militarization at the border has increased steadily over the last decades; border crossings have been in decline for years; and most heroin smuggled over the border comes through legal border crossings, not the areas that are targeted for a wall.

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