Lawmakers weigh in on President Trump's national emergency declaration

By Bill Barajas - Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - Will President Donald Trump's emergency declaration help stop crime, human trafficking and drugs from entering the country? The answer varies depending on whom you ask.

"Our question is, 'What emergency?' If you look at FBI statistics, the border is a lot safer than the national crime rate," said U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, 28th District.

Cuellar said he's for a safer, more secure border.

"We want to see strong border security, but we've got to do it in an effective way -- technology, more personnel, Border Patrol and (Customs and Border Protection) officers at the port of entry,” Cuellar said.

Cuellar worries a national emergency would affect local military men and women. He claims $520 million in funding would be lost.

"We're talking about dorms, the energy center. It's construction that the men and women need here in San Antonio. The biggest amount is in Fort Bliss, because they're talking about taking $251 million for a new hospital," Cuellar said.

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, disagrees with Cuellar. He stands by the president's claims of a national emergency.

"Over course, we have a crisis and an emergency at the border. Texans know that. John (Cornyn) and I have both spent a great deal of time down at the border," Cruz said. "We have got to stop this flood of narcotics coming across our southern border, and we also have to stop the inhumane treatment of human traffickers to children."

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said federal law enforcement officers need to be allowed to do their jobs.

"In February, 76,000 people were detained at our southwestern border. It overwhelms our border communities, the public health system. The Border Patrol is handing out juice boxes and diapers, while the drug cartels are moving drugs across the border," Cornyn said.

Congress will vote on March 26 on whether to overturn Trump's veto.

The veto is expected to stand because it is believed Congress will not have enough votes to overturn it.

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