President Trump, in his battle with Democrats over securing America’s southern border, has mentioned the option of closing the border, reports Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
It would be a drastic move, given the trade that moves back and forth daily. And some critics of the president contend such a move would be illegal.
However, it has been done several times in the past, and no federal court ruled that a president didn’t have the authority.
Meaning, according to a new report from the Congressional Research Service, that President Trump could issue the order, and if his opponents challenged him in court, the outcome is uncertain.
There have been at least four occasions in which presidents ordered a border closed, the report said.
“The measures taken on at least one of the occasions covered in the articles – the aftermath of President Kennedy’s assassination in 1963 – may have constituted a full closure of ports of entry on the southern border for much of the afternoon and evening of November 22, 1963. On another occasion, President Reagan ordered the closure of nine ports of entry ‘for a matter of days’ after the abduction of a Drug Enforcement Administration agent in Mexico in 1985. On two other occasions – President Nixon’s ‘Operation Intercept’ in 1969 and President George W. Bush’s post-9/11 measures – the restrictions consisted primarily of extensive inspections that brought border traffic to a standstill.”
The report said federal law gives the “Department of Homeland Security general authority over operations to secure the border and specific authority to close temporarily ‘any … port of entry’ when necessary to protect national interests. Other statutes give the president broad authority to suspend the entry of non-U.S. citizens.”
Which means, the report said, the law likely authorizes “a range of targeted executive measures to close a port of entry or to restrict operations at some ports.”
The courts never have ruled on a blanket closure of the border, the report said.