North Dakota Lawmakers Introduce Resolution Backing Trump’s Call for a Border Wall


**EMBARGO: No electronic distribution, Web posting or street sales before Tuesday 3:01 a.m. ET Jan. 22, 2019. No exceptions for any reasons. EMBARGO set by source.** FILE — Eight border wall prototypes in front of the existing wall between Mexico and the United States, in Otay Mesa, Calif., Oct. 30, 2017. Although President Donald Trump’s plan to build a wall along the border has not been mentioned at the New York trial of the drug lord known as El Chapo, testimony has revealed that Joaquin Guzman’s smuggling network typically went through legal checkpoints — not isolated stretches of the border where a wall might be an obstacle. (Josh Haner/The New York Times)

Nationally the federal government is shut down over funding for the border wall (or fence or whatever) that President Trump campaigned on in 2016.

Here in North Dakota a group of state lawmakers – including House Majority Leader Chet Pollert and Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner – have signed onto a resolution calling for the wall to be built:

It’s HCR3025, and the prime sponsor is Rep. Jake Blum (R-Grand Forks).

“For over 30 years, our southern border has been in crisis. Every successive administration in that time frame has failed to act and secure our border, and unfortunately that crisis has only deepened,” Blum told me when I asked him about the resolution this morning. “Americans voted for a secure and permanent solution to reinforce the rule of law in 2016, and unfortunately congressional Democrats are blocking our President’s attempts to make good on his promise. This is about national security, and I think it’s time for North Dakota to demonstrate our support for the rule of law, our respect for legal immigration and our hope for an end to the longest government shutdown in American history.”

The resolution makes reference to the fact that the United States of America leads the world when it comes to accepting legal immigrants, but also states that it is the “duty and responsibility of the federal government to protect national borders and secure the sovereignty of the United States of America as well as to enforce immigration and employment laws for the protection of American citizens.”

This resolution would do nothing, legally. The border wall is a federal issue. The State of North Dakota simply doesn’t have jurisdiction. But this would be our state government expressing an opinion, and that does carry some weight.

Politically, this will also put North Dakota Democrats in the position of taking an explicit position on the issue, which will be uncomfortable for a lot of them.

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