By Raegan Turner | Staff Writer
President Donald Trump has been attempting to make good on his campaign promise to construct a border wall between the United States and Mexico since his election, but the only thing that has been built so far is partisan hostility.
The most recent proof of this began at midnight on Dec. 21, 2018 and has become the longest government shutdown in U.S. history. As a result, funding has stopped for multiple federal departments, including the Department of Education, Department of the Interior, the FDA and NASA. Unfortunately, this means the employees of affected agencies have been unable to work and therefore have not been paid in almost a month.
These are not the only government employees frustrated by the shutdown; members of both political parties in Congress have spoken out against the unresolved break. Republican Sens. Marco Rubio and Mitch McConnell both publicly expressed their displeasure at the inability of Congress to agree on federal expenditure while Democratic Sens. Charles Schumer and Nancy Pelosi sat down with Trump in order to resolve the issues at hand.
The president’s pleasure regarding the shutdown was fully evident with during this meeting. In reply to questions from the Democratic pair, Trump addressed Schumer saying, “I am proud to shut down the government for border security, Chuck.”
Despite this specific claim, the president has been inconsistent in asserting blame for the shutdown. Responsibility has previously been placed on Democrats, reflected in Trump’s recent tweets that say he is in the White House “ready to sign” but is waiting for the Democrats to return and end the shutdown. However, he has also made comments declaring that he will personally do “whatever it takes,” including instigating a shutdown, in order to get funding for the border wall.
Though Trump has been indecisive on who instigated the shutdown as well as whether or not he is willing to compromise on the $5.7 billion he originally demanded for the erection of a border-wall, opponents of legally allotting the requested funds have failed to suggest a realistic solution that appeals to both the president and those who disagree with him. The Democrats did offer to agree upon $1.3 billion for increased border technology and patrols to try and appease the situation; however, it was not enough money for Trump nor an effective solution by itself to address the conflict surrounding immigration.
Instead of only throwing a little less than one-fourth of the money Trump requested at the conflict in a measly attempt to quiet his demands, those who oppose the president’s plans should also produce legislation that will benefit the country long-term. This would provide a legitimate solution that would attract the support of those who only favor building the wall simply because nothing better has been suggested as well as those who are and have been against the construction altogether. In the meantime, wall fortitude, technology and patrolling agents could be added to the current border with the proposed $1.3 billion while Congress focuses on coming together to remake the immigration process.
Over the years, immigration in America has increased due to people from multiple countries entering our nation by crossing multiple borders. If the goal of our nation is to keep everyone from permanently moving here, an enormous wall constructed on the southern border will not alone be sufficient; a wall cannot guard against those who join the nation by overstaying their visa. However, creating an immigration process that is less expensive, timelier and safer will result in more people attempting to enter legally, therefore giving the United States more control over who is coming into the country and more opportunity for those seeking to come.