Expensive. Unnecessary. Unfair.

Why the government shutdown needs to end.


Isabella Janney, Co-Editor in Chief

The partial government shutdown is entering its fourth week and people across the US are feeling its effects.


Currently, more than 800,000 federal employees from all 50 states are not being paid as a result of the government shutdown. Those affected include furloughed employees, who are not working at all, as well as essential employees who are working without pay. When the families of these employees are considered as well as people who are indirectly affected, this shutdown is burdening millions of Americans.


TSA agents are working without pay; many have quit or are calling in sick while trying to find another job to support their families. Many national parks are closed and some struggling to stay open. Three people have died on National Park Service land since the shutdown began. The FDA has stopped routine inspections of seafood, fruits, vegetables, and “other foods at high risk of contamination.” Tens of thousands of law enforcement personnel are working without pay, including employees from the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Prisons, Customs and Border Protection, the Coast Guard, and the Secret Service. Federal Court Preceding have dramatically slowed; many immigration courts are closed, leading to long delays in deportations.


The reason our government has shut down is complicated. Essentially,  President Donald Trump and Democratic politicians are in a deadlock over the president’s demand for more than $5 billion in funding for the border wall, which Democrats oppose. Since Trump has refused to comprise the amount spent for the wall, the shutdown has continued and has become the longest shutdown in U.S. history.


Border security is a divisive and controversial topic in our current government. There is a difficult balance of protecting U.S. citizens and continuing to allow the immigration that our country is known for. America is a melting pot; we would be disrespecting our history if we turned our backs on those seeking asylum, refugee status, or wanting to legally immigrate into our country. Immigration should be regulated, however, and those wanting to come into our country should have background checks in order to ensure the safety and security of our country.


In his Oval Office address on border security, President Trump claimed that, “America proudly welcomes millions of lawful immigrants who enrich our society and contribute to our nation, but all Americans are hurt by uncontrolled illegal migration.” Democrats Schumer and Pelosi agree with this: “Make no mistake: Democrats and the President both want stronger border security.”


Trump’s proposal for enhanced border security includes new technology to detect drugs and weapons, more immigration agents and judges, requests for humanitarian assistance and medical support, and a proposition to close loopholes in border security so “illegal immigrant children can be safely and humanely returned back home.”


This aspect of his proposals is supported by Republicans and Democrats alike. The dividing issues, however, arise with Trump’s final ultimatum: the border wall. Many politicians choose one crucial issue on which they center their campaign; Trump chose the border wall and he is refusing to back down. Because of this, hundreds of thousands of Americans are being affected by the unfair government shutdown. This is not fair.


This shutdown needs to end. Not in a week. Not in a month. Now. Senator Chuck Schumer is adamant about this in his response to Trump’s speech on border security: “There is an obvious solution: separate the shutdown from the arguments over border security. There is bipartisan legislation – supported by Democrats and Republicans – to reopen government while allowing debate over border security to continue.”


Border security is still an issue that needs to be resolved, but it is too expensive, unnecessary, and unfair to keep using American workers as pawns because our government is too divided to compromise.


This shutdown needs to end.