Battle for the Border: Trump Threatens Shutdown for Wall Funding
It’s undeniable that Donald Trump’s ascension to the Presidency was thanks, in large part, to ‘The Wall.’
A cornerstone of Trump’s campaign agenda – after all who could so quickly forget red-hatted masses chanting ‘build the wall’ with the then candidate – the construction of a true and adequate physical barrier on the southern Mexican border has been a promise Trump has genuinely been consistently eager to make good on.
It’s not hard to understand why.
According to a Harvard University-Harris Poll, (a generally somewhat left leaning source,
“a majority of Americans actually agree with not only one but all of Trump’s immigration proposals. A stunning 65 percent of Americans support a DACA deal that ends chain migration, eliminates the random visa lottery and secures the border with a wall. Only 35 percent of Americans did not agree. In fact, nearly 80 percent of Americans believe that immigration should be based on merit and skills, not just family ties.
Even more interesting, the poll shows that 60 percent of Americans believe that even if dreamers are allowed to stay, they should not be given preference to bring relatives to the United States.
When faced with a choice, nearly 80 percent want secure borders rather than open borders. Specifically, 61 percent think that current border security is inadequate, and more than half of Americans — 54 percent — support a physical barrier along the southern U.S. border.”
Despite weathering his fair share of ridicule out the gate for what by all accounts seemed like a longshot at the presidency, Donald Trump simply capitalized on the reality that Americans at large *want* border security.
While popularity for investing in a physical barrier isn’t as high as say, ending chain migration, it still has majority appeal; an appeal that helped jettison Trump from the electoral butt of all jokes to the most powerful office in the world.
Put up or Shut Down
But unfortunately for Trump and those who supported him – and more focally support the idea of ‘the wall’ – Trump has had a hell of a time acquiring the funding for it. NBC reports,
“As the migrant caravan now sits on our southern border, President Trump is using it as an argument for Congress to fund his border wall. The president is so set on securing funding for the wall — reportedly at least $5 billion — that he is willing to shut down the federal government when it runs out of money on December 7. He sees this as his last, best chance to fulfill his 2016 campaign promise to be very “strong” and “tough” on illegal immigration, as Democrats will assume the majority in the House of Representatives in January and have made clear that they do not believe the border wall is sound policy.”
This is more than mere speculation, with President Trump himself validating that he would absolutely fight for his policy cornerstone’s funding even if it means the federal apparatus grinding to a halt until he gets it. In an effort to push his party – still in control of a soon to be blue house that manages almost all fiscal matters – Trump has claimed he will veto any spending bills that come across his desk unless they include adequate funding for the construction of the wall.
He’s taken to the airwaves to let America know. Just this Wednesday claiming in an interview he would “totally be willing” to shut part of the government down if Congress does not approve a $5 billion budget to build his proposed wall along the U.S. southern border.
Trump also told Politico that the issue is a “total winner,” politically.
“I don’t do anything … just for political gain,” Trump said. “But I will tell you, politically speaking, that issue is a total winner. People look at the border, they look at the rush to the police, they look at the rock throwers and really hurting three people, three very brave Border Patrol folks — I think that it’s a tremendous issue, but much more importantly, is really needed. So we have to have border security.”
Rock beats Politics
The reality is, while government shutdowns are immensely unpopular, border security is the opposite. And while Donald Trump isn’t always particularly appealing to America at large his policy in this case empirically is.
When it comes down to it the overwhelming majority of Americans want real and trustworthy border security; a slimmer majority, but majority all the same, supporting the wall.
And it’s no wonder. While policy alterations like fixing DACA, or making headway on expired Visa overstays, are popular and ‘easier’ fixes politically, they’re merely facets of a greater holistic security restructuring America desperately needs.
American politics are fickle, and as a result, her policymaking can be fickle. While a wall is by no means even close to a blanket solution for US immigration woes, the simple fact is the next administration can’t tear it down as easily as they can tear down say, lottery legislation.
Physical border security absent wise policy alterations in the land behind it is folly. But so is making wise policy alterations without any means of enforcing them. Personal opinions aside, America wants a wall and Donald Trump is determined to deliver.
Editor’s note: Migration will be a worldwide problem soon as some populations expand and others don’t. Some people predict a stabilization of population, but even if that turns out to be true, there will be a lot of war in the mean time.
Right now the caravan is only a few thousand people. Will we be able to defence against 100,000 or a million if they decide to march? How about a large percentage of 500 million? Security always begins with the physical barrier. A wall certainly isn’t sufficient, we need the electronic and adminstrative measures to go with it, but without the physical barrier, no measures are sufficient.