One thing Trump always promised was the wall. No matter what statements he deviated from he always stuck to that one. Promises of building the wall were plastered across social media and chanted at rallies and protests. First Mexico was going to pay for the wall, then Mexico was going to pay the U.S back, now President Donald Trump is holding American citizens hostage and shaking us down to pay for the wall.
No matter what party people belong to we all had our hopes and fears for the 2016 presidential election. It seems that for Democrats like myself, many of our fears are becoming reality. The U.S government has been shut down for 32 days and counting with no end in sight.
This is the longest government shutdown in American history. According to CNN, there are currently 380,000 federal employees unable to work and unpaid and another 420,000 federal employees working without pay. Currently, government workers are being forced to go back to work, despite not getting a paycheck. Those are real people who are going without pay. Some may have enough money saved to ride this out however long it lasts, but there are other families struggling to pay their bills and get groceries.
Across social media, I have seen many people justifying this shutdown by arguing that President Barack Obama had a government shutdown as well. This is true, both presidents did shut the government down, but they were for entirely different reasons.
President Obama shut the government down for the Affordable Care Act; a law to make affordable health insurance available to more people. President Trump shut the government down because he wants the wall he promised everyone. The difference is that one was to improve our country and help the people in it and the other is to divide and spread hate.
America needs better border security; this cannot be denied. However, the way to strengthen the security is not through a wall. The wall is impractical, expensive and ineffective.
The claim that the wall will somehow protect the border from immigrants is not accurate. Most immigrants who stay in America illegally do not come from across the border. They come legally by plane and decide to overstay their visa to start a new life in America. A Center for Migration Studies report estimated that 44 percent of people living in the U.S illegally in 2015 were visa overstays.
The money spent on the wall could go to so many better causes. Teachers are underpaid, schools are underfunded, prisons are overflowing and opioid addiction has become an epidemic. As an American citizen, I do not want my tax money going towards a wall that will do nothing but hurt our country. Immigration is a very real issue in America but there are other issues that need to be focused on as well. There are ways to improve the immigration problem in the U.S., but a fifty-foot wall isn’t it. If this wall is built it will be an atrocious blemish on American history. President Trump’s generation may erect that wall, but our generation will tear it down.
This government shutdown needs to end now. We need to make our borders secure and we can’t do that until the ideal of the wall is given up. Open the government, continue bi-partisan discussions and for God’s sake stop putting immigrant children in cages.