Congress does not act by speeches. It acts by legislation, and the only legislation relevant to this issue that Congress has passed supports the president’s authority to build a wall, either throug…
Most observers of the American political scene today would say that the president wants a border wall and the Congress does not.
That, however, is quite inaccurate. “The Congress” is not Speaker Nancy Pelosi, nor any single member of the House or Senate. Constitutionally, the Congress expresses its will only one way: by passing legislation. It has no authority to issue orders having the effect of law, as the president does with executive orders, or the Judicial Branch does by issuing injunctions. Thus, Speaker Pelosi’s statement that a border wall is “immoral” does not express the view of Congress.
For the record, the last time Congress spoke about these issues, in 2006, Congress ordered that “the Secretary of Homeland Security shall take all actions the Secretary determines necessary and appropriate to achieve and maintain operational control over the entire international land and maritime borders of the United States,” including “physical infrastructure enhancements.” The legislation further identified several specific, but not exclusive, locations, near Tecate and Calexico, and El Paso, Texas, where Congress directed “2 layers of reinforced fencing [and] the installation of additional physical barriers.” This language was in the “Secure Fence Act of 2006,” passed by Congress and signed by President George W. Bush. Congress has not spoken since. With party control currently divided between House and Senate, it is unlikely that Congress will speak further on this issue in the near term, though individual members of course will.

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