Illustration By: @bellabynum and Jane Keenan
Faith crosses every border and touches every heart in every nation.
– George W. Bush
In the 2016 elections, future president Donald Trump said that when he became president he would have a strong and strict southern border. One of his main campaign promises was that he would build a wall and Mexico was going to pay for it. Or to be more specific, write a check to the US. However, we have gone through the longest partial government shutdown in the history of the United States of America to get the wall. Trump has even declared the immigration crisis a national emergency. Some people are supporting Trump on this, while some are wondering, what else can we do about this situation.
On December 22, 2018, the government went into a partial shutdown. This means that Congress could not pass a budget on time. The main reason they couldn’t pass the budget was because President Trump requested 5.7 billion dollars for the border wall. That means that government facilities like passport offices, most National Parks, and Government offices were closed. Workers were unable to come to work or in some cases have to work without pay. For example, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers worked for 35 days without pay. TSA officers are just an example of the 800,000 unpaid government workers and contractors who were affected by the shutdown.
Another big part of this situation was that the shutdown occurred during the holiday season. He advised the unpaid workers to tell the grocery store you’ll pay them later. He also said that most of the unpaid workers agreed with him and supported him. People argued to use the money for other techniques of security, like drones and better surveillance systems rather than for a wall.
I asked people in our community about what they thought about the situation at the border. One person said, ” I feel as if the wall is wasting money because most illegal immigrants don’t come across the southern border.” He also said, “Well, it would be a waste of resources to send them back to their own county, so we should put them into facilities until a better solution is found. I don’t think it’s a good solution but it’s what we have in the moment.”
Recently Trump raised threats on Mexico by saying in a tweet, “If Mexico doesn’t immediately stop all illegal immigration coming into the United States through our Southern Border, I will be closing the Border, or large sections of the Border, next week.” In Florida, he said, “We’ll keep it closed for a long time, I’m not playing games.” Since Mexico is the USʼs third largest trade partner, this would affect many things. The price of products like fruit and auto parts would rise because the flow of products would be shut off.