Christian Amy, [email protected]

[Letter was submitted before end of shutdown]

Every second the government shutdown over President Trump’s border wall continues, the political tension in our country intensifies. In this climate, it can be hard to distinguish political banter from the facts. The shutdown has inspired countless falsehoods and many on the left have disregarded the president’s position. The reality is that Trump is not acting out of political necessity (as some will have you believe), but out of a genuine concern for the safety of the American people. “Why is the shutdown still ongoing?” you may ask. Because Trump has made the security of this country a priority over political maneuvering and the Democratic Party has not.

In 2006, a bill was introduced to Congress that allocated $1.4 billion to construct a physical barrier on America’s southern border. Moreover, Congress was notified of the eventual $50 billion cost over several years. Supporters of the bill included past senators Obama and Clinton and current Senate minority leader Schumer. So why, then, are Democrats forcing a shutdown over Trump’s request for $5.7 billion to ensure border security? The answer lies in the question: Donald Trump. It is a fact that one of Trump’s key campaign pledges was to increase border security by building a wall. With his landslide election in 2016, Trump seems to be fulfilling almost all of his campaign promises. In addition to decreasing unemployment, invigorating the steel industry, lowering taxes, hastening deregulation, strengthening the armed forces and negotiating a lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula, Democrats in Congress are afraid of letting Trump fulfill another campaign pledge. Since the shutdown commenced, the president has met with the House leadership twice to no avail. Additionally, House leaders have rejected the president’s compromise of granting extended protection for undocumented children and others here illegally in return for border security funding. Trump is obviously the only one acting in the spirit of bipartisanship.

While shutdowns are “problematic,” let us not forget that they serve a purpose and are sometimes necessary. The fact is that while one can cite one poll after another, Trump’s landslide electoral victory (note: the U.S. does not elect its leaders by popular vote) was a clear mandate for his vision for border security. Furthermore, while the shutdown has affected many Americans, the human toll of inadequate border security is far more catastrophic. What Speaker Pelosi and Senator Schumer call “a manufactured crisis”, others call a tragedy. In addition to the negative impact illegal immigrants have on job availability, over three hundred Americans are killed each week due to drugs smuggled across our unprotected borders. For the families of Robert Page of Georgia and Officer Singh of California, this crisis is not manufactured. Both of these men were brutally murdered by illegal immigrants who gained access to the U.S. through our southern border. Many more stories like these exist and will continue to exist until the Democrats swallow their pride and finally support the president in ensuring our borders are secure. The Democrats must embrace bipartisanship, stop obsessing about the political ramifications of handing Trump another victory and give the American people a border they can have confidence in.

Lastly, I have read that one of my fellow students called into question the president’s character over this shutdown. The bottom line is that your security, the security of your family and the security of our Republic is worth shutting down the government for. If trying to ensure the protection of the American people constitutes a stain on a man’s character, I will gladly boast of a stain on mine.