Beyond the Hoopla, the Law Gives Presidents Vast Powers To Protect the Border, and Trump Would Use Them

From Eagle Pass, Texas, Trump makes clear that he would use the powers that Congress and the Constitution give our president.

AP/Evan Vucci
President Biden, second from the right, on February 29, 2024, at Brownsville, Texas. AP/Evan Vucci

With all the hoopla reporting of the Presidential visits to the Texas border, I haven’t seen any specific references to two important laws passed by Congress and signed by other presidents that will go a long way toward solving President Biden’s catastrophic open border policy, and the roughly 10 million illegals who have entered our country.

First, is section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act which gives the president authority to “suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens.” It’s actually similar to President Trump’s Title 42, but it’s broader than public health emergencies.

Second, is the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, which added section 287(g) to the Immigration and Nationality Act. The gist of this amendment is to authorizes U.S. immigration and customs enforcement to delegate to state and local law enforcement officers the authority to perform specified immigration officer functions under the agency’s direction and oversight.

What’s more, 287(g) gives ICE and local law enforcement partners the power to identify and remove incarcerated criminal non-citizens, the agency says, “to protect the Homeland through the arrest and removal of non-citizens who undermine the safety of our nation’s communities and the integrity of U.S. immigration laws.”

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump talks with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott during a visit to the U.S.-Mexico border, Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024, in Eagle Pass, Texas.
President Trump and Governor Abbott at the border. AP/Eric Gay

I’m going through all this because Mr. Biden and for that matter any other president has the legal authority to stop illegal immigrants right at the border, and the legal authority to deport illegals who are criminals, they may be in so-called “sanctuary cities,” but they can still be deported.

These bills would override sanctuary cities. And they would open the door to a massive deportation of illegals, working with local police and with ICE. Now this is essentially what Mr. Trump wants. He couldn’t be any clearer.

Mr. Trump wants to go back to building a wall, “remain in Mexico,” Title 42, and the policy of “catch and deport.” He wants to mount a national campaign with all the local police authorities and all of law enforcement to deport the criminals.

By the way, Mr. Biden’s phony border bill will not even ask if the illegals coming into this country were criminals in their own country. And unfortunately, we’re finding out there’s plenty of that. Hence the terrible tragedy of Laken Riley and many others. Absolute tragedies.  

In his visit to Brownsville, all Mr. Biden could do is attack Republicans and push his spending bill, which would solve nothing regarding illegal immigration. Mr. Biden did not announce any executive actions, actions that are fully legal, as mentioned in the legislative acts that I referenced earlier.

Mr. Trump on the other hand, made it perfectly clear that he would use his congressionally mandated executive power to once again close the border and go after the criminals let loose inside this country.

That is what the 45th President refers to when he talks about illegal migrant crimes. And ironically, down there in Eagle Pass, where Mr. Trump visited, Governor Abbott’s razor wire fence barricades have been working  and slashing the number of illegals coming across.

There’s a lesson in that, and there’s a lesson in following the law. Mr. Biden is a hopeless open border man. He wants to call them “newcomers.” What does that tell you? Maybe it tells you everything you need to know.

It’s been a catastrophe for America, and Donald Trump has plenty of legal executive authority to end this mess. I just tried to clarify all that. Those laws are for real.  

From Mr. Kudlow’s broadcast on Fox Business Network.


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