January 14th, 2018 marks a 24-day government shutdown period: the longest shutdown in American history. As a consequence, hundreds of thousands of federal workers have been burdened by this shutdown. Funding has been halted for many important federal agencies such as Homeland Security, Justice and State departments, and commerce.
Many workers are working without pay or are on forced unpaid leave. In result, federal workers are missing out on thousands of dollars worth of pay and the government is no closer to ending the shutdown than they were three weeks ago.
In the midst of all of this chaos, the question arises, is all of this really worth it for a wall? The shutdown originally occurred because an agreement could not be reached regarding funding for the border wall. While it may be arguable that a wall might prevent illegal immigration (even if it is to the smallest extent), is the burden that is currently upon federal workers worth the somewhat doubtful chance to halt illegal immigrants?
Many conservative media sources such as Fox News seem to support Trump's side on the matter. More than supporting Trump, they are also praising him. Conservative newscasters have been calling him a genius for 'trapping democrats' to make a more 'favorable' decision and even claiming that Trump's shutdown will have the end effect of saving lives once the wall goes up.
But as the government shutdown continues, the quality of life of the federal workers continues to deteriorate. More and more workers will lose their pay or even their jobs, and agencies that society depends on could halt functions hurting even more people. Here, another question poses itself, how long will it be until more are hurt than 'saved' by fighting for this wall?
According to a national opinion poll that ran in early January. it appears more of American adults blame Trump for the government shutdown before they blame Democrats. More liberal news sources such as New York Times and Wall Street Journal have hinted at opposition towards Trump's definition of a "national security crisis" and the implications his shutdown has had on federal workers.
In fact, Border Patrol Data shows that recent illegal border crossings have declined drastically over recent years. In 2000, we experienced over 1.6 million illegal crossings and now we have documented roughly 340 thousand. Even with the numbers so low, Trump seems to believe that a wall (worth an absurd 6 billion dollars) will solve this "national crisis". Democratic officials and news sources have debated with the president over the effectiveness of the wall.
There is no doubt that there are very opposing views regarding funding for the border wall. However, amidst all the conflict, society must take a step back and decide whether too many people are getting hurt by this shutdown. We must decide whether the well being of American citizens is disposable in comparison to funding a wall to potentially prevent illegal immigration. We must make a decision for the betterment of our country.