More than a month after it began, the government shutdown over border security has finally come to an end.
Although the shutdown had to end at some point, it is surprising that it came about without the promise that President Donald Trump has been seeking since before he even won the presidency — funding for a wall between the U.S. and Mexico.
With the wall, the president had vowed to keep out what he claimed were countless numbers of criminals who are currently entering the country with easy access.
Trump waited to request wall funding until just before the Democrats took majority control of the House of Representatives, despite the fact that Republicans had the majority in the legislative branch for the first two years of his presidency.
What followed was a vicious back-and-forth between the president and newly-elected Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). When the Speaker suggested that Trump postpone the State of the Union due to “security concerns” during the shutdown, he responded by canceling Pelosi’s previously scheduled trip to visit the troops in Afghanistan.
Admittedly, Trump’s decision to shut down the government over a campaign promise was a bold political move, but one that inevitably alienated many of the citizens that got him elected.
The end result was nothing more than another obstacle preventing both sides from developing a peaceful coexistence anytime in the near future.
Trump claimed the shutdown as his during a December meeting with Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. He was right — the financial and emotional strain placed on Americans for more than a month was all because of a wall that is not guaranteed to keep immigrants from entering the U.S. illegally.
However, the continuation of the shutdown needs to be owned by both sides. While the president was on Twitter advocating for a wall, Pelosi and Schumer spent time in Hawaii and New York, respectively — neither in Washington working on negotiations with the president.
The nature of politics in today’s society encourages grandstanding and finger-pointing.
These are not trends that can stand if our politicians are committed to protecting the wants and needs of all Americans — not just those who voted for them.
By seemingly abandoning negotiations out of spite, these leaders are only adding fuel to an already tumultuous relationship.
In the case of the shutdown, both sides cannot get exactly what they want, despite the compromise announced Friday which will keep the government open for at least several weeks.
It seems necessary for a compromise to be made so Americans can live their lives without fear of being out of a job or working for no pay if another shutdown arises.
We agree that changes could be made to the American immigration system and the measures in place to protect people who already live here. Today’s system is overflowing with both immigrants and refugees, all seeking a better life in the U.S.
This system must be expanded to help these people legally immigrate as efficiently as possible, instead of coming into the country illegally because they do not have the time or money to enter the right way.
We think education on immigration is also needed for Americans, as many people have misconceptions about the process and the characteristics of the people who are entering the U.S.
Without this sense of understanding, both politicians and every day Americans are setting themselves up for a long history of narrow-mindedness and a failure at keeping our country running at a high level.