Government Shutdown: My Opinion

Government Shutdown: My Opinion

  The Government shutdown, the longest one in U.S. history, started on December 22, 2018, and ended on January 25, 2019. It lasted a total of 35 days. This shutdown was put into effect due to the border wall proposal. President Donald Trump said that he wasn’t going to open the federal government back up until a Mexico border wall proposal was passed by Congress. He also made a State of the Union Adress after the shutdown was put into effect. In this article, we will learn about and discuss both the shut down itself as well as it’s causes and effects.

   First I will start by explaining the cause. The American people have heard about it since the beginning of Trump’s Presidency and in his campaign before in 2016: the Mexico border wall. During his 2016 election campaign, Donald Trump promised to “Make America Great Again” and said that one of the ways he would do that was by building a thousand-mile-long wall along the U.S. Mexico border to keep out illegal immigrants and drug cartel from Mexico. He also said that Mexico would pay for it. Mexico never has agreed and the only person saying this is the Trump Administration.

   During the shutdown, the specific parts of the government that were completely shut down were the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Federal Housing Administration. The National Parks Administration was partially shut down. The postal service, TSA, Social Security Department, Medicare and Medicaid, Customs and Border Control, and the Smithsonian all stayed open during the shutdown. Law enforcement, Correctional officers, DHS employees, and Forest Service Firefighters did not get paid during the shutdown and some even refused to come to work. This means that for 35 days, over 420,000 people went without pay. Along with that, 380,000 were sent home without pay. All employees affected have or will be given back pay for this time.

   On top of all of that and a few other events, Trump gave a State of the Union. In his State of the Union, Trump discussed the hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Jose, and Maria, giving a thank you to first responders and telling the people living in places affected by the hurricanes that “We are with you, we love you, and we will pull through this together.” He then went on to discuss taxes, how America needs to stick together, the future he has insight for our country, and the all famous border wall and security. He brings up one specific scenario in which two teenage girls were murdered by members of a gang called MS-13. Many of these members coming over illegally from the U.S. Mexico border as minors. He then talks about what will take place to make the decision of border security.

     The government shutdown hasn’t really ended. Trump agreed to re-open the government for three weeks as of Friday, January 25, 2019. The government will shut back down on February 15, 2019 if a border wall agreement is not reached. The reason for this was mainly for the over 800,000 workers who have been without pay for over a month. He also said that if an agreement is not reached by the set February date, that he will possibly come out with something new, not a government shutdown, but instead declaring a national emergency. Then on February 5, President Trump gave another State of the Union talking specifically about border control saying he had ordered troops to our southern border then saying that he wants our country to have many immigrants coming into our country, but wants them coming in legally. Going on to say that these illegal immigrants are crowding our public schools, hospitals, and putting legal American citizens out of a job, also taking a moment to focus on modern-day slavery. He then goes on to speak of the gang MS-13, that also was the same group spoken of in the last State of the Union with the murders of the two 16-year-old girls, then how an illegal immigrant killed a couple in their 80’s after robbing them, leaving their children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and siblings behind. Also taking a moment to recognize a law enforcement officer who helped arrest and charge illegal immigrants for coming over the border illegally and for being involved in human trafficking.

   I think that this is honestly quite ridiculous. Trump thinks the government shut down helped, but not really. There may have been some benefits but it also resulted in over 800,000 families’s going without pay for over one month. That is four weeks without pay, four weeks! Four weeks without money for food, clothes, rent, bills, for anything. Now after an address given by President Trump in 2019, the democratic party responded. The people who delivered the response were House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, They said in their response, “The symbol of America should be the Statue of Liberty, not a 30-foot wall.” In reality, the wall would be 45 feet or taller, no matter what the height, in this case, I believe that the Democrats are right. Truly think about it; this wall is already being spoken about all over the world, and if this wall does get built, then the whole world will know and it could easily become something that represents America.

   Now on the other hand, I do think that border security needs to be increased. Children and adults alike are being affected by illegal immigrants whether because they were put out of a job or had a crime committed against them they were affected. In 2015, our country spent over 200 billion dollars deporting illegal immigrants, so not only is this affecting the citizens of the United States, but also our government. Border security needs to be increased, but is a giant wall really the way to do it? It makes our country look bad, but then on top of that, it could put us in a bad place with not only Mexico but also other Latin American countries. My final opinion is that border security should be increased, but a wall is not the way to do it and it never has been.

   I want to give everyone else a chance to voice their opinion and I feel that us as middle schoolers don’t really get a chance to voice our opinion and are often cut off and told it is not our place and that our opinions do not matter. That is 100% false. Feel free to voice your opinion, no matter what side you stand, in the comments below.