GOP Lawmaker Backs Trump Emergency Declaration, Says What He Saw At Border Was ‘Disturbing’

The U.S.-Mexico border barrier Tijuana, Mexico.
Mario Tama / Getty Images

Republican Representative Adam Kinzinger of Illinois said Sunday on CBS’s Face the Nation that he is backing President Donald Trump’s declaration of national emergency, The Hill reports.

The lawmaker, who was deployed to Arizona with his Air National Guard Unit, explained why he feels the situation at the U.S.-Mexico border constitutes a national emergency. According to Kinzinger, Trump’s declaration is about more than curbing illegal immigration, and there is indeed an emergency that needs to be dealt with.

The Republican acknowledged official Trump administration statistics, which show that illegal border crossings are at a 40-year low, but argued that human trafficking and drug smuggling at the southern border pose a real threat to the security of the United States.

“I went down there kind of undecided,” he said.

“I think if this was just an issue of immigration it wouldn’t constitute a national emergency. But what I saw was really disturbing.”

The Republican recounted witnessing a unit of 70 pounds of methamphetamine being smuggled into the United States, and said that he had seen an immigrant woman “hunkered down in the desert,” alone and abandoned by her alleged smuggler.

Kinzinger said he will not vote to block Trump’s declaration.

Virtually all Democrats have condemned Trump’s order, and only one Republican is openly opposing it — Representative Justin Amash of Michigan. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, Amash is co-sponsoring a resolution designed to block Trump from declaring a national emergency.

Introduced on February 22 by Democratic Representative Joaquin Castro of Texas, the resolution has been co-sponsored by 226 members of the House of Representatives. The measure is expected to pass the Democratic-controlled House, but it will likely not pass the GOP-controlled Senate.

Even if it does, however, Donald Trump will veto it. The president announced this on Friday, claiming that he will “100 percent” veto any legislation meant to stop him from declaring a national emergency.

For President Trump, building a wall on the U.S-Mexico border is a top priority, since increasing border security and curbing illegal immigration have become his signature issues. Trump declared a national emergency on February 16, in order to bypass Congress and allocate funding for the wall.

Although there has been some push-back, the president’s order enjoys almost unanimous Republican support. Justin Amash was the only one courageous enough to criticize Trump’s “usurpation of legislative powers,” and pointed out that the Republicans used to oppose and condemn Obama’s executive actions.

But according to Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, Trump has the authority to declare a national emergency, and there is indeed a crisis at the border.

“I do think this is a security threat. It’s a security threat with the amount of drugs coming over the border and the human trafficking that I’ve seen,” he concluded for CBS.