The Frustrations of the ‘Trump Shutdown’

Dylan Yonce, News & Op Ed Editor

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Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

A portion of the United States Federal Government has now been shut down for over twenty-three full days.  Even as just a partial shutdown, over 800,000 workers are either working with no pay, or not able to work at all.  Among the most affected, are members of TSA, who were forced to work over the holiday season with no pay, and have now missed at least one full paycheck.  Many of the workers affected by the shutdown are those that live paycheck to paycheck- they need the money that they were supposed to get over the holidays, and they need it now.  The federal government has agreed to pay all of its workers that have been affected when the government reopens, but workers who are unable to put food on the table or pay bills could be facing serious consequences.

The frustration that comes along with this government shutdown, comes with President Trump’s stubbornness and inability to make a compromise when he doesn’t get his way.  He has claimed responsibility for this shutdown based on $5.7 billion he has requested from Congress to fund the border wall that he promised to voters during his 2016 campaign.  The funds would go to technology, and yes, a steel or concrete wall, along the United States southern border with Mexico. President Trump claims that said wall will stop illegal drugs, such as heroine from entering the United States, as well as ending human trafficking, and American job loss along the border.  Apparently, the White House and republicans in Congress have been unable to read the statistics and facts surrounding the US southern border. First of all, Vice President, Mike Pence, told reporters last week that there were 4,000 suspected terrorists that tried to enter the US through Mexico. Government statistics however, report a mere 6.  Another issue with Trump’s wall is that it is supposed to prevent drugs from entering the United States, while 90% of the heroine that comes from the southern border enters the country through legal points of entry. President Trump claims that 1 in 3 women will be assaulted on their way to the US- Mexico border, but constructing a wall isn’t going to stop asylum seekers from trying to reach the border and enter the United States.  Trump himself even says, Don’t give up. Don’t allow it to happen. If there’s a concrete wall in front of you, go through it. Go over it. Go around it. But get to the other side of that wall.”

So, what should the White House and Congress actually be doing right now?  Well, the obvious first step would be to open the government so that people can get back to work, and Congress can get back to doing its job.  Immigration is a very serious issue that administrations and lawmakers have been ignoring for a long time, and the United States immigration system is in need of serious repair.  Once the government is open, Congress must work (with haste) to produce a bill that makes legal immigration into the United States a more obtainable reality, while ensuring that all US borders and customs centers are secure and equipped with the best modern technology to combat crime and terrorism.  Instead of constructing physical barriers and criminalizing entire nations, the Trump Administration should be focused on creating an America that protects all of its people while also admitting new people who will go on to contribute to American society in a positive way.