How Far the Border Wall Will Split the Country
Tales of the longest government shutdown in the U.S. modern history. As the shutdown surpasses three weeks on its path to officially become the longest government shutdown in the modern U.S. history, the more tensions are heating up. No agreement has been reached between Democrats and Republicans on Thursday. Rather, it was a loud disagreement, which led some politicians to go as far as to announce it as a complete absence of hope.
While being a strong ally of President Trump, Graham was one of those trying to reach a compromise. One of the compromises offered by the Democrats was a deal where along with the wall there would be certain legislative allowances for undocumented immigrants who are already in the country. Particularly those who are called “dreamers” – young people who arrived in the U.S. as children with their families, and were recently protected by the Obama-era program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which was repealed by Trump in 2017.
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“Border patrol, ICE, and law enforcement – you take so much heat, so much abuse from people who don’t know what they’re talking about. I want to say you have a friend with this administration, and you have a friend with me. Nobody does a better job,” Trump said in his opening remarks. Notably, the speech has taken place in a room full of cash, guns, and confiscated narcotics.
Introducing his ‘winning position’ on the shutdown, Trump has also made it clear that if he needs to declare national emergency to fund the wall, he will do it. According to the sources close to the president, the only reason he hasn’t done it yet is because execution of the emergency power would bring risks of legal actions taken, which tend to be successful.
While Trump continues ‘playing the ball’ with the Dems, the country is slowly but surely being torn apart. As part of the shutdown, President Trump has suspended federal workers’ compensation, and denied the scheduled annual raise. It comes as no surprise that the more uncertainty there’s in the air, the more devastated federal workers become. This Thursday, rallies were held across the country. In Chicago, protesters gathered at the Federal Plaza.
“Federal workers should not be held hostage to a border wall. Federal workers should not be forced to work without pay,” said Matt Muchowski, district office manager of the The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE). “If a wall is not going to be agreed upon, then there is no negotiating, and that makes no sense,” added Jewel Spenser, who’ve witnessed five government shutdowns during her 33 years at the Environmental Protection Agency.
Creative solutions: YouTube, GoFundMe campaign, raising money for… shovels. Amidst the rising tensions during the shutdown, and inability to reach a compromise, Trump has set up a YouTube advertising campaign, where a brief, 42-second video ties up “terrorists, violent criminals, and child traffickers” with the absence of the wall.
To advance and expand “the wall movement,” a GoFundMe page was created, called “We The People Will Build The Wall.” As of press time on Thursday evening, over $20 million have been raised out of a $1 billion goal. Notably, a lot of donors prefer to not make their real names public, some of them used the names of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Border wall’s opponents also don’t seem to waste their time. Another project, for those who would like to dig a tunnel under the wall, was also created on the GoFundMe page.
“To the thousands of people raising money for a wall…..I’m raising money to supply tunnel builders with shovels,” wrote Rigo Torres, the creator of the GoFundMe page. Torres admits on the page that in reality all the money will be donated to the American Civil Liberties Union’s programs aimed at reuniting families torn apart at the border.
Moreover, consensus or even compromise cannot be reached between both parties at this point. Trump has stated he would not open the government until the funding for the wall is secured. Democrats, in their turn, insist on opening the government in order to negotiate. As ironic as it is, many experts see the state of national emergency as the only feasible way to “stop the bleeding” at this point of time. The government will reopen, and in that case the building of the wall will most likely start. However, that decision will be challenged, bringing potential legal consequences to the president.