Readers React: Memo to President Trump: It isn’t an emergency if you have to schedule it

President Trump discusses human trafficking along the southern border last week at the White House.
(Jim Watson / AFP/Getty Images)

To the editor: An editorial states that President Trump “has painted himself into such a tight corner on this issue, it seems as if his only way out is to build some version of the wall he promised during his campaign … under the rubric of a national emergency.”

The events at our southern border fail to qualify as an “emergency.” An emergency is defined as a sudden, unexpected occurrence requiring immediate action, yet Trump has been complaining about immigration since before his election.

If this situation required immediate action, such a response should have taken place by now. You just don’t schedule an emergency as a way to break a budget impasse.

This immigration problem is a chronic situation that needs to be addressed by one of the co-equal branches of our government, Congress, and reviewed by the executive.


Darrell Manderscheid, Fountain Valley


To the editor: Your editorial says members of Congress “should not be cowed by the president’s posturing into wasting billions of dollars on an ineffective border wall.”

You should listen to Mark Morgan, President Obama’s Border Patrol chief, and to Carla Provost, the current chief. They strongly advocate more barriers as essential to controlling the border.


If L.A. Times editorial writers had to get out of their comfortable offices and assume responsibility for protecting the border as these professionals do, they might not make the statement about a border wall being a waste of money.

Oliver Watson, Orange


To the editor: How can Democrats dissuade Trump from causing another ruinous government shutdown or declaring a dubious national emergency?

Simple: Give him a “win.”

First, agree to immediately fund more asylum-seeker processing sites and immigration court personnel to allay humanitarian crises at our southern border.

Second, set aside funding — say, $5.7 billion — for enhanced border barriers, but only to be made available when the first of two events occur: either when an impartial survey confirms that a wall would be more effective and less costly than prosecuting employers who hire undocumented immigrants without running E-Verify eligibility checks, or when the next presidential term begins.

That approach will give Trump a shot at redemption. Either his border-wall “emergency” will be ratified, or his reelection will affirm that voters don’t care whether he is being rational.


Robin Groves, Pacific Palisades


To the editor: This situation is the result of Congress’ inability and unwillingness to tackle the age-old immigration problem. Shame on them.

Lock the door and don’t let the children leave until they do their jobs. Secure the border from illegal entry and give all the decent law-abiding undocumented residents amnesty, as President Reagan did.

Stop kicking the can down the road.

Ed Herbst, Los Angeles

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