The Wall. These small words pushed together hold so much controversy and have caused the longest government shutdown in history.
President Donald Trump has said he will keep the government shut down until a decision is made on the border wall he deems necessary. However, many fail to see the necessity of spending billions of dollars on construction of the wall. The wall and the government shutdown are a waste of time and money, but most importantly it’s hurting the American people.
According to the Texas Department of Health and Human Services, 3.5 million Texans receive food stamp benefits. Texas began releasing funds 10 days earlier than scheduled because the federal funding may dry up before February.
More than 420,000 federal employees are working without pay, according to a report from the Senate Appropriations Committee. An estimated 380,000 are furloughed — meaning sent home without pay.
Federal employees will receive back pay after the shutdown lifts, but it doesn’t help people who cannot afford to miss even one paycheck.
The effect of the government shutdown will soon spread to non-government employees as well. If employees are not being paid, they cannot pay their bills. If bills are not paid, they aren’t spending money either. The economy will suffer because money is not being put back into the system. Small businesses will eventually suffer, causing the firing of employees they cannot afford to pay. Worst, these small businesses may not be able to stay afloat.
Texas has the second highest rate of illegal border crossings after California according to Texas Monlthy Magazine. The rate of undocumented Mexican immigrants in the U.S. is approximately 6 million per year.
A wall is not going to solve anything. People from Mexico and South America will just figure out new ways to get under, over or around it, and many of the drugs that come from these countries come in through legal ports of entry.
Border security is important, but there are hundreds of thousands of hardworking government employees who aren’t being paid. Most of these employees have reached their first pay period with no income, which is forcing many to seek second jobs.
The president is throwing a temper tantrum and refusing to compromise. Unfortunately, not many people are getting that viewpoint: his immaturity. Not only immaturity, but lack of empathy for the people who cannot afford a government shutdown — the normal American people who live paycheck to paycheck.
These politicians can afford to work without pay, but the average American cannot. This is a fight between political parties and it has gone on way too long.
Regardless of the opinion of the Democrats or Republicans on the border wall, the government employees who are working without pay should not be punished.
Democrats put together the Real Enforcement with Practical Answers for Immigration Reform proposal. The proposal suggests increasing border security and cracking down on the employment of undocumented immigrants.
According to Texas Monthly, only after that is done would the government create a new type of visa that would allow nonseasonal, nonagricultural workers to stay here for three to six years and eventually earn lawful permanent residence. They believe this would be effective in reducing border crossings.
Members of this establishment, from both sides of aisle, should come together to end this shutdown. They should take the time to continue to debate the issue without hurting the people who elected them.