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Of borders and butterflies.

February 14, 2019

The news is that President Trump will sign the bill working its way through Congress.  Hopefully he will attach a rider to that but still, he’s going to sign it, to avoid another government shutdown.

He recently said the White House legal team was going to look for “land mines.”

They won’t need bifocals to find them, and one of them is the requirement that the “wall” not be built on any national wildlife refuges, including the National Butterfly Center, which is near McAllen, Texas.

Actually there are about half-a-dozen such refuges, and in the bill he is prohibited from building in any of them.

That’s likely to make his border barrier look more like a dotted line, but then, what’s more important, butterflies or people?

Obviously, the President got himself into this by partially shutting down the government in the first place. That’s water under the bridge at this point. It seems like every administration has to learn this lesson for themselves, and he isn’t the first to come out on the wrong end of those decisions.

Sans that faux pas, he could just tell Congress to shove all 1159 pages where the sun don’t shine, but that still wouldn’t get us one more foot of protected border. At the very least HJ Res. 31 gets us updated equipment at the ports of entry so maybe it isn’t a total loss.

That leaves us with the national emergency declaration. Reports say he will make such a declaration.

It remains to be seen how many more feet of barrier that will get us.

The operative part of all of this is whether we see any new barrier construction, and whether the structure is constructed in a way that deters climbing or people perching on it like migrating starlings in spring.

It would behoove him to tout every foot of new wall, because come November 2020, that’s going to be the yardstick by which his success is measured.

From → op-ed

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