Four days before President Donald Trump’s term in office expires, he issued a notice extending a national emergency proclamation — which cleared way for the rerouting of federal military funds for border wall construction — by a year. The announcement comes as migrant groups estimated to be around 9,000 head to the U.S.
“I am continuing for 1 year the national emergency declared in Proclamation 9844 concerning the southern border of the United States,” the announcement read.
It added, “further action is needed to address the humanitarian crisis and to control unlawful migration and the flow of narcotics and criminals across the southern border of the United States.”
The Trump Administration issued Proclamation 9844 after a “dispute regarding the amount of funds appropriated for a border wall, a 35-day partial government shutdown, the eventual enactment of an appropriations bill to end the shutdown, and an unsuccessful effort by Congress to terminate the national emergency,” as summarized in a Congressional Research Service report.
“We were told that this will be one of the first things he’s going to rescind,” U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar said Saturday evening, referring to President-elect Joe Biden.
The announcement comes just as news from Guatemala reports thousands of migrants embarking on a journey toward the U.S.
Guatemalan immigration officials began preparing for waves of migrants from El Salvador, Nicaragua and Honduras moving through their country on Jan. 7. By Saturday, the groups entering their country, which sits on the path to Mexico, registered several groups estimated to be around 9,000.
Some turned violent at two points when a group pushed through a fence and neglected to observe safety and health protocols implemented in Guatemala. Later, Guatemalan officials asking for documentation reported a violent encounter with a group of migrants on a road in Chiquimula.
Rep. Cuellar said these attempts are anticipated. “I was told by Homeland (Security) that they’re already putting out information,” he said, referring to those involved with human smuggling.
“We don’t want any border wall, but at the same time we cannot give the impression that we have open borders,” Cuellar said.
Cuellar urged compassion but stressed balance in the upcoming Biden Administration.
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