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BUDGET AND BORDERS: GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN AND BORDER SECURITY

The longest government shutdown in American history is now over. The near million impacted federal workers now work assured of the next regularly scheduled paycheck, as well as backpay for the last check missed. The three-week extension will provide Republicans and Democrats a period to hash out funding for the rest of the year as well as border security plans that meet the demands of President Trump. The political impact of the shutdown and the temporary resolution will be subject of debate for the political punditry. Despite the temporary break, there is a need for greater border security measures as well as dealing with a population of potential Americans, who are negatively impacted by criminal actions not of their own choosing.

Many Americans may not see border security as an issue worth shutting down the entire federal government over. As seen in the past, political brinkmanship over a single issue under the federal purview is not highly popular. Especially, issues that are highly controversial and not well understood by the general public. Understandably, people living outside of the border communities may be unaware of the issues that plague these areas and disseminate through society. Also, the politics over these issues are highly emotional and symbolic, viewing the extension of an already existing wall as a point of contention.  




The premise that all should agree is that immigration is beneficial to our society. That the United States should continue to welcome in immigrants from all nations. Given our vibrant private sector and social freedoms, the United States attracts the best and brightest in the world, many of whom lack opportunities in their home nation. Their contributions of skill and labor to our economy as opposed to their home nation is a plus. The goal should be to have immigration through legal channels. 

The issue of border security is one surrounded by strong emotion and political hyperbole. Open border advocates focus narratives on the economic and social plights of home nations, which illegal immigrants flee. Moreover, many yearn for the border policies of yesteryear, where nomadic people settled freely. In contrast, border advocates focus on national security issues raised by illegal immigration, many of which plague border towns. Also, the criminal element that exploits lax regulations by moving weapons and drugs into our communities. 

The realities of our current world make it essential that societies identify potential threats and effectively eliminate them or mitigate the groups ability to impact their constituencies. While the United States is not being invaded by immigrants, there are clear data from government sources that point to the presence of illegal immigrants associated criminal organizations, who our border agents stop from entering daily. Seizures of drugs and weapons occur frequently as well. All of which occur with little to no fanfare from the general public. Our government has a duty to effectively separate the criminal element from those seeking opportunity or relief. 

The issue of stopping illegal immigration should not solely focus on stopping entrants at our southern border. That is a significant source of illegal immigration, but not the only issue. In fairness to all groups, there should be a focus on regulating the population of people that overstay visas or simply attain counterfeit documents to remain in our nation. Sole focus on the southern border creates the basis for claims of discrimination from those coming from Mexico, Central America, or South America. In reality, the push for immigration enforcement is to ensure all people follow the legal channel and abide by the rules and regulations in place. 

Tight border security should not ignore the potential needs of those seeking asylum or economic relief from their socialist governments that exploit their people or rule with iron fists. Improving programs and procedures to assist these groups can help prevent large migrations that seek to overwhelm our border. Instead, policymakers should consider expanding guest worker programs and expediting the review of asylum request. There are many jobs that Americans refuse to do but can be legally completed by a guest worker. Additionally, people fearing for their life of themselves or their families should not have to wait for prolonged periods while their governments can strategize to seek retribution.  




The push for extending the existing wall on our southern border is somewhat dramatic. While President Trump’s promise of a great wall along our southern border provided great theatrics, the real needs is placing structures in areas that are hard to regulate by border agents. Democrats call for greater electronic monitor is one that should also be included. The combination of physical barriers, law enforcement, and technology-based monitoring should suffice. The theatrics and hyperbole only creates unnecessary controversy.

Stronger borders, improved immigration procedures, and protection for those that are living and contributing to America should be a policy plan all support. Over time, new challenges will need to be addressed, but true comprehensive immigration reform should not be delayed by partisan bickering. Political brinkmanship is the unfortunate tool that important pieces of legislation will need in order to come to fruition. As another shutdown looms near, lets not make it for naught.