A Wall Creating More Divide Will Only Waste Taxpayer Dollars

A Wall Creating More Divide Will Only Waste Taxpayer Dollars

It is clear that President Trump maintains his goal of building a border wall, but it remains to be seen if this is possible or the best thing for America.

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President Trump had a recent Oval Office meeting with Democratic leaders from Congress, Chuck Schumer, and Nancy Pelosi, in which he discussed border security and his infamous wall across the US and Mexico border. Trump, Schumer, and Pelosi argued back and forth on television quite contentiously, with Pelosi attempting to explain that border security can mean things other than building a wall. Trump is requesting $5 billion from Congress to fund border security and the wall, while Democrats are suggesting $1.3 billion for the border security fund. Pelosi and Schumer explained that they are trying to avoid a government shutdown due to lack of agreement on spending.

Trump claims that we need to increase border security, but the reality is that spending on border security increased under both the Bush and Obama administrations. The amount of border-crossers that were apprehended at the US border in 2000 is substantially more than the number currently being stopped. Trump claims that we need more money and more resources to stop these immigrants, but research has proven that there are in fact fewer immigrants to stop than there were in 2000. A recent Pew Research Center study found that there are less illegal immigrants living in the US than there were at the peak of illegal immigration in 2007.

The reality is that illegal immigration was a problem created by Trump's 2016 campaign. Yes, there has always been an immense amount of immigration into the United States, and a lot of people attempting to make it into America try to do so illegally. However, a lot of people move to America legally. Trump has generated this unreasonable picture of people trying to come to the United States with the intention of breaking our laws and hating American culture, which is just not the case.

What the concept of "the wall" fails to recognize is that America was built on the principle of creating a country where anyone can put in the work necessary to prosper and to support their family. Immigrants throughout American history have been trying to do just that, they are chasing a promise of American freedom and equality. Immigrants stand for American ideals more than those born in the United States do. These people are humble and hold themselves responsible for their own success, they are leaving somewhere dangerous in search of a life that protects them and their families.

Trump's promise to "make America great again" focuses on making America something it's never been before. The US would not exist in its modern-day capacity without immigrants, both to build our population and our workforce. It's been proven that immigrants, even today, help to expand the American economy, with immigrants and their children working hard to achieve upward mobility in American society. If we want America to grow and evolve, it needs immigrants to do so. Shifting to other ethnicities and cultures of immigrants just means that we are becoming a more diverse society. Beyond the logistics of funding and building the wall, it is unrealistic for Trump to expect that closing America off from the rest of the world is an appropriate way to lead one of the largest world powers.

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This Is How Your Same-Sex Marriage Affects Me As A Catholic Woman

I hear you over there, Bible Bob.
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It won't.

Wait, what?

I promise you did read that right. Not what you were expecting me to say, right? Who another person decides to marry will never in any way affect my own marriage whatsoever. Unless they try to marry the person that I want to, then we might have a few problems.

As a kid, I was raised, baptized, and confirmed into an old school Irish Catholic church in the middle of a small, midwestern town.

Not exactly a place that most people would consider to be very liberal or open-minded. Despite this I was taught to love and accept others as a child, to not cast judgment because the only person fit to judge was God. I learned this from my Grandpa, a man whose love of others was only rivaled by his love of sweets and spoiling his grandkids.

While I learned this at an early age, not everyone else in my hometown — or even within my own church — seemed to get the memo. When same-sex marriage was finally legalized country-wide, I cried tears of joy for some of my closest friends who happen to be members of the LGBTQ community.

I was happy while others I knew were disgusted and even enraged.

"That's not what it says in the bible! Marriage is between a man and a woman!"

"God made Adam and Eve for a reason! Man shall not lie with another man as he would a woman!"

"Homosexuality is a sin! It's bad enough that they're all going to hell, now we're letting them marry?"

Alright, Bible Bob, we get it, you don't agree with same-sex relationships. Honestly, that's not the issue. One of our civil liberties as United States citizens is the freedom of religion. If you believe your religion doesn't support homosexuality that's OK.

What isn't OK is thinking that your religious beliefs should dictate others lives.

What isn't OK is using your religion or your beliefs to take away rights from those who chose to live their life differently than you.

Some members of my church are still convinced that their marriage now means less because people are free to marry whoever they want to. Honestly, I wish I was kidding. Tell me again, Brenda how exactly do Steve and Jason's marriage affect yours and Tom's?

It doesn't. Really, it doesn't affect you at all.

Unless Tom suddenly starts having an affair with Steve their marriage has zero effect on you. You never know Brenda, you and Jason might become best friends by the end of the divorce. (And in that case, Brenda and Tom both need to go to church considering the bible also teaches against adultery and divorce.)

I'll say it one more time for the people in the back: same-sex marriage does not affect you even if you or your religion does not support it. If you don't agree with same-sex marriage then do not marry someone of the same sex. Really, it's a simple concept.

It amazes me that I still actually have to discuss this with some people in 2017. And it amazes me that people use God as a reason to hinder the lives of others.

As a proud young Catholic woman, I wholeheartedly support the LGBTQ community with my entire being.

My God taught me to not hold hate so close to my heart. He told me not to judge and to accept others with open arms. My God taught me to love and I hope yours teaches you the same.

Disclaimer - This article in no way is meant to be an insult to the Bible or religion or the LGBTQ community.

Cover Image Credit: Sushiesque / Flickr

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The Disrespectful Nature Of My Generation Needs To Stop

Why choosing phone games over a Holocaust survivor was my breaking point.

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While many students that attended Holocaust survivor Hershel Greenblat's talk were rightfully attentive, I noticed, out of the corner of my eye, a few outlier students tapping away on their phones. They were minute movements, but inappropriate nonetheless.

Immediately I became infuriated. How, I thought, fuming, did my generation become so blithely unaware to the point where we could not proffer basic respect to a survivor of one of the most horrific events in human history?

Perhaps the students were just texting their parents, telling them that the event would run a bit long. 10 minutes later, my eyes diverted from Greenblat back to the students. They were still on their phones. This time, I could see the screens being held horizontally—indicating a game or a show was being played. I wanted to get up, smack the distractions out of their hands, and ask them why they thought what they were doing was more important than a Holocaust speaker.

I will not waste any more time writing about the disrespectful few. Because they could not give Greenblat the time of their day, I will not give them mine. Instead, I want to focus on a massive trend my generation has mistakenly indulged ourselves in.

The Greenblat incident is only an example of this phenomenon I find so confusing. From young, it was instilled in me, probably via Chinese tradition, that elders should be respected. It is a title only revoked when unacceptable behavior allows it to be, and is otherwise maintained. I understand that not everybody comes from a background where respect is automatically granted to people. And I see that side of the story.

Why does age automatically warrant respect? It is the fact that they have made it this far, and have interesting stories to tell. There are exceptions, perhaps more than there are inclusions.

But this fact can be determined by the simple act of offering an elderly person your seat on public transportation. Sure, it can be for their health, but within that simple act is a meaningful sacrifice for somebody who has experienced more than you.

Age aside, at Greenblat's talk, majority of the disrespect shown might not have been agist. Instead, it could have been the behavior students just there for the check-in check-out extra credit that multiple classes and clubs were offering. While my teachers who advertised the event stressed the importance of attendance not just for the academic boost, but for the experience, I knew that some of the more distracted students there must have been those selfish, ignorant, solely academic driven cockalorums.

I stay hopeful because majority of my classmates were attentive. We knew to put aside our Chromebooks, regardless of note-taking, and simply listen to what Greenblat had to offer.

It would be wrong to label my generation as entitled— that's a misnomer for the generation before. We are still wavering between the line of automatic respect and earned respect, but we need to set a line for people whom we know the stories of. Especially a Holocaust survivor.

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