The citizens of the United States of America have been forced to endure a government shutdown for a consecutive thirty-five days. Thousands of Americans had to go without pay during this time period or use their allotted sick days in order to keep their jobs. This past Friday, January 25, President Donald Trump announced that the government will be open temporarily for three weeks while he plans a proposal in regards to the southwestern border wall. The government is set to shut down again on February 15, 2019.
President Trump claimed that he will do whatever is necessary to budget for the wall to keep immigrants from crossing the southwestern border. The intended budget for the wall is $5.7 billion dollars. The government shutdown did not affect the operations of Homeland Security, Border Patrol, and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
President Trump’s reasons for the border being needed is to keep sex traffickers, drugs dealers, murderers, and criminals out. According to the president, Homeland Security will need the $5.7 billion dollar budget in order to have more bed space for immigrants who have been taken into custody, immigration judges, medical and humanitarian support, and to train border agents.
This has been the longest government shutdown in American history. Thousands of people who work federal positions have not going paychecks. The timing of this shut down is inconvenient seeing as it began on December 22, 2018, a mere three days before Christmas. According to the Congressional Budget Office, this shut down resulted in a lost of $11 billion dollars. The government will be funded for the next three weeks while it is temporarily up and running.
Nancy Pelosi currently serves as the Speaker of the House of Representatives for the United States. Pelosi is the first woman Speaker of the House of Representatives in history. She just began this new position as of January 3, 2019. Alongside, Chuck Schumer, the House Speaker of the US, the pair addressed the nation live on January 8, 2018. Pelosi summarized how “plain wrong” it is for the president to be “holding the American people” hostage to accessorize his own agenda.
Chuck Schumer said that Donald Trump is “using fear” and that the matter of shutting down the government in order to negotiate with the Democratic Party is a “temper tantrum”. The pair claimed that the president is using Americans as leverage and that this is a “choice between right and wrong and injustice and justice”. This was the official Democratic response used as an effort to get the government back up and running.
President Trump stated that the immigration border wall will keep “aliens” out of the country. Trump claims that the immigration issue is more of a “humanitarian issue”. The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement or better known as ICE is an agency ran by the federal government to ensure immigration and border laws are being issued. The U.S. has an estimate of 200,00 ICE agents to enforce civil immigration laws.
There has been much criticism over the handling of immigration children. Children as young as preschoolers have been separated from their parents and are being kept in detention centers. The Trump administration has faced much backlash for the speculation of keeping this “alien” children in cages and in poor conditions.
As of January 25, 2019, the government has been reopened and will remain so through February 15 until a budget and proposal for the southwestern border wall are finalized. Federal workers have been requested to return to their positions. This month-long government shutdown cost the US an estimate of $11 billion dollars.