Trump’s Border Wall Donald Trump’s presidency has many controversies surrounding it. Many of which stem from his want to build a wall between the United States and Mexico border. From his campaign trail, he promised a wall to keep immigrants out and has continued his stance on the matter. This has led to many issues from public opinion to financing and even caused the longest government shutdown in history. In this paper, I am going to discuss Trump’s vision of the wall, the cost of the wall, the people’s opinions, and the government shutdown.
The earliest account of Trump’s wall was from his Twitter account: realdonaldtrump. (2014, August 5) SECURE THE BORDER! BUILD A WALL! [Tweet]. He then went on his campaign trail in 2015 and made a promise of a wall to be built on the border to keep drugs and illegal aliens out of America. In March of 2015, he tweeted about an “impenetrable wall,” and continued to tweet throughout the year about his tall, one-thousand-mile concrete wall. Then, he changed his tune come January 2018, when he tweeted that there needed to be some transparency in the wall to see what’s on the other side.
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By December 2018, he had come up with a different design of a steel slat barrier. Regardless of the design, Trump had originally estimated the cost of his wall to be $25 billion, but in December of 2018, he then said it could only cost $15 billion. Trump even said he would do it cheaper if he had to. But according to statistician Liberty Vittert, the wall will have to cost $25 billion to fit Donald Trump’s ideal. This money has to come from somewhere, and that is from the taxpayers. The public is divided on their support of Trump and his wall. Most voters think there is a crisis happening at the border of the United States and Mexico, but not all think that a border wall will solve these problems. In fact, during midterms, the majority of voters opposed the wall. However, there is still some support for the wall, but it is tied in closely with those who avidly support the president’s decisions.
The Trump wall has not only caused an uproar among the American people but also in the American Government. Donald Trump demanded $5.7 billion for the border wall. The Senate refused the spending deal, and Trump triggered the government shutdown on December 22, 2018. On January 3, 2019, House Democrats passed a few bills that could have reopened the government, but they did not include funding for the border wall, leading them to be vetoed by the white house. After that Trump refused to budge with his stance which leads to breaking the record for the longest government shutdown on January 12th. On January 19th Trump then proposed a new immigration compromise to gain his $5.7 billion for the wall, this, however, was dismissed.
On January 25th, Trump said he would agree to a short-term spending bill in order to reopen the government. This deal he agreed on does not include any funding for the border wall. Trump claimed he was confident that there would be negotiations regarding funding to the border wall. There were some citizens who were upset over the lack of funding for Trump’s wall and an Air Force veteran started a GoFundMe for the border wall in hopes to raise $1 billion. The GoFundMe ended up raising just over $20 million, but since the campaign was all or nothing all the money was refunded to the donors. This didn’t mean Trump wasn’t going to get his funding though. On February 15th he declared a national emergency on the border with Mexico. He claimed that the flow of drugs, criminals and illegal immigrants from Mexico caused such a threat to national security that it justified a national emergency. By declaring this emergency, Trump was able to access billions of dollars for his border wall.
This has all lead to an issue with the separation of powers, and if there is an abuse of power happening with the sitting president. By declaring a state of emergency, Trump is using up resources that could be preserved or even used for better causes. Congress will have to cave and give Trump some money for his wall, but who is to say that he will not just declare another emergency to gain his funding. The issue at hand is how will Donald Trump react to the continual lack of funding and support for his border wall. There are a few ways that Congress can resolve the issue, the most obvious being to give Trump the requested funding. Although, that would be a lot of money for Congress to use for something that is not wanted by the American People. I personally think there should be a resolve of giving a portion of the funding or giving the funding but over time and have the wall be built slowly over the years. This way there is not too much money being put in at once, and if there is a bigger time span it will be easier to end the building of the wall if the next president wishes.
The is Allen, J. (2018, December 7). Trump now says border wall could cost as little as $15 billion, pay for itself.
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