Presidential Temper Tantrum Detrimental to All American Citizens

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Presidential Temper Tantrum Detrimental to All American Citizens

Michael Pruchanskiy

Michael Pruchanskiy

Michael Pruchanskiy

Shauna Whitney, Photo Editor

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   With the recent disputes about immigration policy, our government has found itself in a political gridlock that has lasted longer than many Americans can endure.

   On Saturday, January 12, we entered the twenty-second day of the shutdown. This officially broke the record of the longest government shutdown in American history, surpassing the previous record which occurred in 1995 and lasted 21 days. Despite the fact that the shutdown ended a week ago, President Trump has promised it will resume in two weeks if he doesn’t get his wall. Trump suggests that it may continue going on for months, according to The New York Times (nytimes.com).

   Trump’s absurd demand of 5.7 billion dollars to build a wall at the US-Mexico border has become central to this shutdown. He foolishly refused to reopen the government until Democrats passed his proposal, ignoring the growing problems that arose with keeping the federal government closed. With every day Trump refused to negotiate, more problems arose for the American people, according to CNN, until he caved, albeit temporarily (cnn.com).

Across several government agencies, about 420,000 employees are were asked to work without pay and 380,000 were temporarily laid off and did not receive pay. FDA employees feared for the safety of the American people with 41 percent of the agency’s workers off the job. While they still did what they could, food inspections were at a bare minimum in order to get by during the shutdown, which will most likely occur again in two weeks if the president doesn’t compromise (cnn.com).

   Trump’s refusal to reopen the government and the threat to do it again is causing fear for many federal workers who need to receive their paychecks in order to pay their bills. Senior Bea DeVera agreed, stating, “President Trump should separate the government shutdown from his push to get funding for the wall so government workers can get their paychecks.”

   Democrats offered Trump a very reasonable alternative to his expensive border wall that would give him around 1.3 billion for fencing and better border security. Rather than accepting this compromise, Trump rejected this offer, proving his only true intentions are to build his precious wall to show the American people he can follow through with his promises, according to USA Today (usatoday.com).

   President Trump has been warned of the consequences of his stubbornness. According to the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi insisted he open the government before any negotiating about immigration policies (pbs.org). However, Trump sees this as his last chance to get the border wall he based his campaign on and doesn’t care that he’s holding this country hostage in order to get it.

   According to The New York Times, in Trump’s address on January 8, he used the argument that the issues at the border are a matter of national security. He claimed that illegal immigration is a growing problem and that the people of our country are in extreme danger. However, studies show the rate of illegal border crossings has in fact been decreasing for the past two decades. In 2017, border crossing apprehensions were at the lowest on record since 1971 (nytimes.com).

   Trump should reopen the government rather than using the shutdown as leverage to achieve his goals. Building a wall at the Mexican border is impractical and unnecessary. Our country doesn’t need to spend 5 billion dollars on an issue that can be solved with the Democrat’s proposed plan or with negotiation between both parties to find  a solution they both can agree upon.

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