Compromising border security does not help immigrants and the shutdown doesn’t help anyone.
Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Senator Chuck Schumer attend a news conference to call for the reversal of President Trump’s travel restrictions on refugees and immigrants from several Middle East countries. January 2017. (photo: Lorie Shaull)
The Government Shutdown Starts to Bite
All across the U.S., the government shutdown, now dragging past its third week and well past the point of the longest in history, continues to wreck havoc in a number of vital sectors.
For instance, President Trump lost his kitchen staff and had to resort to serving the College Football Playoff National Championship winners, the Clemson Tigers, a fast-food buffet of cheeseburgers and fried chicken. Feast Fit For A Burger King: Trump Serves Fast Food To College Football Champs.
After suggesting that the State of the Union speech be postponed, Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s scheduled overseas trip was summarily cancelled, some speculate in retaliation.
“Due to the Shutdown, I am sorry to inform you that your trip to Brussels, Egypt, and Afghanistan has been postponed. We will reschedule this seven-day excursion when the Shutdown is over.” — President Trump in a letter to Rep. Pelosi this week
Donald Trump and Nancy Pelosi may be starting to feel the pinch, but they aren’t the only ones.
10 Ways the Government Shutdown is Hurting the U.S.
- Routine food inspections have been radically cut back, leaving the U.S. food supply vulnerable to contamination and illness-causing bacteria: Food safety inspections lacking as government shutdown continues.
- An understaffed TSA is crippling U.S. air traffic as agents required to work without pay call in sick in crushing numbers in order to work paying jobs. The FAA and aircraft safety have been hampered by the shutdown as well.
- Federal agencies have been forced to suspend their usual preparations for natural disasters like wildfires and hurricanes.
- D.C. businesses are suffering as furloughed government employees don’t need or can’t afford their products and services.
- The Department of Agriculture has failed to provide farmers with the vital planting report they depend on yearly for successful harvests.
- As the tax filing deadline draws closer, taxes are going to be a serious problem.
- National Parks are being covered in trash and vandalized. Some damage to protected habitats will take years to recover.
- Tribal Nations have been hit particularly hard as vital community services have been interrupted and thousands of Tribal members working for the Department of Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Indian Health Service have been furloughed without pay.
- U.S. federal agencies are more vulnerable to cyber-attacks and hackers.
- Over 40,000 immigration hearings have been cancelled. The average wait time for a hearing before the shutdown was already over two years.
How will this crisis be resolved?
Can Trump Help the Democrats?
President Trump could end this shutdown with semantics.
DO: Stop Saying Wall
IT IS NOT A WALL. Yesterday, STOP saying wall. The border security measure is very little wall, and what wall is proposed is mostly to reinforce sections of already existing wall.
“This whole debate is a classic case of one side attacking the other’s worst arguments instead of seriously addressing the actual proposal. Democrats need to stop assuming we are talking about a continuous 2,000-mile wall. Republicans know that’s not practical.”
“The budget’s small allocation of $5.7 billion that President Trump has requested would build 234 miles of wall. It’s a start. We know that border security is a multifaceted problem, that security at unwalled segments can be enhanced by drones, sensors and additional patrols, and that the Rio Grande requires a different approach.”
“Let’s start looking for a multifaceted solution instead of automatically dismissing the critical role that physical barriers play.” — Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) “The Silly Arguments Against A Border Wall”, Wall Street Journal.
Do: Help the Democrats Sell the Wall
Trump has been getting a great deal of love from his base lately; the economy is good, jobs are coming back. House Democrats are not so fortunate in their friends; from their further-left colleagues, to their deeply incensed voters, to their campaign donors, Democrats are under tremendous pressure to deliver.
Trump is going to have to help them:
Rebranding Border Security
Separate Border Security From Immigration
Border security and illegal immigration actually have very little to do with each other. Most immigrants in the U.S. illegally are on expired visas, or they arrived in the U.S. via other ways that did not involve crossing the southernmost U.S. border.
There is no question that plenty of immigration policies DO need to be addressed; the vast backlog of immigration hearings (currently more than 786,000 pending cases) and visa caps per country are two great places to start.
Compromising border security, however, is not a good way to help immigrants, legal or otherwise.
Democrats Must Admit a Need for Border Security
When President Obama declared the situation at the border a humanitarian crisis in 2014, Democrats had absolutely no problem with it. The media described it as a “political and humanitarian crisis of epic proportions,”.
Prominent Democrats Hilary Clinton, Barack Obama, Joe Biden and Chuck Schumer voted in favor of the “Secure the Fence Act” in 2006.
The problem is much worse today, with families and children overwhelming border patrol resources and facilities which are slow to respond to the changing need after decades of dealing with single male immigrants.
“The border crisis didn’t change between 2014 and now. The only thing that changed was who’s in the White House and how the media reported on it.” — Eddie Scarry, “Media Had No Problem Calling It A Border Crisis in 2014 Under Obama,” Washington Examiner 1/10/19
Some Democrats are already starting to admit that there is a legitimate need for border security:
“Some fencing has uses. Some barriers are useful.” — Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR)
“If we have a partial wall, if we have partial fencing, if we have technology used to keep our border safe, all of that is fine.” — Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Ill)
“Certainly you need barriers and we support barriers.” — Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD)
There certainly is a problem with U.S. border security: The largest single group of migrants ever tunneled under a border wall in Arizona this week.
Women and Children Need Border Security
Border security isn’t all bad. The most vulnerable migrants, women and children, need protection from dangerous elements in their midst.
- Last year, Customs and Border Patrol apprehended 17,000 individuals with previous criminal histories.
- Nearly 1/3 of women trying to reach the southern U.S. border are sexually assaulted.
- 70% of all migrants are victims of violence.
Border agents need more resources, obviously. More resources means money. Money to hire more people, better training, better facilities equipped to deal with families.
Fentanyl could kill you and everyone on your block with only a tiny amount.
Anyone, at any time, could become injured, endure surgery and physical therapy and become dependent on Fentanyl. The illicit trade of Fentanyl must be stopped. People are dying of overdose in America every day by the thousands.
Fentanyl isn’t alone, either.
- In 2017, nearly 300 people per week were killed by heroin in America. Drug authorities estimate that 90% of all heroin in the U.S. enters the country via the southern border
- From October 2017 to August of 2018, U.S. Border Patrol seized: 6,423 pounds of cocaine, 532 pounds of heroin, 10, 382 pounds of methamphetamine and 332 pounds of fentanyl.
The border security measure involves Fentanyl fighting tech; anti-tunneling, satellite and GPS tech designed to stop the flow of this deadly substance over the southern border of the U.S.
Don’t: Declare a National Emergency
What President Trump absolutely must not do under these circumstances, is declare a National Emergency.
Using this political stalemate as an excuse to declare a National Emergency is the worst thing Donald Trump could do at this point in history.
Regardless of intention, a move to seize power like that will be cast by the left as tantamount to a coup. The U.S. media will waste no time whatsoever in declaring that Trump the Dictator, of whom they have been so loudly warning about since 2016, has finally materialized.
Declaring the shutdown a National Emergency, with all the incumbent extra executive branch powers, will play right into the hands of Trump’s detractors, proving, in their minds anyway, that they were right about Trump all along.
The shutdown, and the delay over reopening the government, may even be an attempt by Democrats to force Trump to declare a National Emergency, just so they can have a legitimate reason to demonize him in 2020…if they even have to wait that long.
No End in Sight
During a meeting this week between the President and Congressional leadership, Nancy Pelosi flat out said she would not consider funding the wall if President Trump agrees to reopen the government while border funding negotiations continue.
If she is unwilling to even consider it to reopen the government, the stalemate and shut down will continue indefinitely.
So far, congressional leadership has yet to make any reasonable counter offer, or even consider compromise.
As long as the Democratic Party and the left-leaning mainstream media continues to paint border security as a racist Great Wall of China, no progress can be expected.
(contributing writer, Brooke Bell)