It’s hard to say if the president’s decision to declare a national emergency is grounded in incompetence, immaturity, bad advice, a failure to see that he is pointlessly establishing a precedent that other presidents will follow to their own ends, ignorance of the Constitution and the role of the legislative branch, or a disrespect for the will of the majority that is the foundation of our democratic republic.

It is simply mind-boggling that funds allocated to projects approved by the legislative branch should be withdrawn to fund a project that was specifically disapproved again and again.

This declaration of a false emergency to fund a boondoggle project to be built only following the settlement of endless lawsuits must be rejected by the Senate.

The president himself said he did not have to do it. What kind of emergency is that? The country has much more important work to do.

Even if an impenetrable wall, fence or barrier could be built along the border without unintended adverse side effects (like insurrection), every wall has gates, openings, points of entry. Every wall can be flown over. Every wall can be bypassed (think of the Maginot Line, built by France to stymie a German attack).

Every city of any size has a bypass to circumvent obstruction. Even the president seeks to circumvent obstruction with this declaration.

The wall itself is a foolish solution to a dubious problem. The decision to declare a national emergence is an affront to Congress, the Constitution, principles of democracy and the citizens it purports to protect.

This ill-considered act requires a reaffirmation of American values.

Mark Gardiner, Salt Lake City