COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Many people all over Columbus are passionate on both sides of President Donald Trump’s state of emergency because of the border wall.
“Trump is used to getting his way,” said Columbus resident Stacey Culberson. “He’s going to stomp his food like a baby, and he’s going to get his way any way he wants to, whether it’s best for us or best for people. We’re all immigrants.”
Tommy Calhoun said he thinks the way Trump has handled the border wall and declared this emergency illustrates a larger trend in his presidency.
“It’s a testament to how President Trump guided our country towards a more racist and nationalistic point of view. It’s just fundamentally broken,” he said.
“The president has the authority to declare an emergency,” said Brad Copas, another Columbus resident. “There’s definitely issues that need to be taken care of on the border, and the countries need to work together, the United States and Mexico, as well."
The bipartisan bill was passed in the U.S. House and Senate which would fund 55 miles of new fencing at the U.S.- Mexico border. It also keeps the government running until September. Trump is seeking about $6.5 billion more.
Congressional aides said millions of dollars of military construction funds could be set aside to fund the wall.
“This is not the first time presidents have used a lot of power to try and obtain results they seek from a policy standpoint,” said Dr. Fred Gordan, professor of political science at Columbus State University. “He’s drawing on what I think is inherent powers to make the claim that the efforts have to go on with building that wall.”
Gordon said the role of the executive power in this situation is a tricky one.
“On one hand, the president has to be able to figure out a way to work with the House and the Senate," he said. "The murky areas is what is an emergency situation and what are the best methods to go about addressing that.”