Improve the National Conversation on the Wall

Prototypes for Trump’s U.S.-Mexico border wall

The Length and Cost of the Shutdown

Yet again, this time over the immigration policy, our nation’s leaders in shocking stubborness are bringing our country and its citizens to harm.

The US government has been shut down since December 22, 2018 pending resolution of issues holding up passing this years spending bill. President Trump will not approve a bill that lacks $5.7 Billion for a security wall at our narion’s southern border, and Democrats led by Charles Schumer (D-NY), and Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), refuse to include this provision.

The shutdown began Dec. 22, 2018. It is the 21st government shutdown since Congress adopted new budgeting procedures in 1976. Most have been brief. This is now the second-longest.

President Obama oversaw one of the long shutdowns In October 2013, over congressional disputes related to funding the Affordable Care Act led, 16 days.

U.S. News and World Report reports that this shutdown has cost the U.S. economy $3.6 billion .

According to an analysis by Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings. It will only take another two weeks for the shutdown to cost the economy $5.7 billion — the same amount that the White House has requested for President Donald Trump’s border wall.

The Size and Cost of Illegal Immigration

In September 2016, Politifact, published an article designed to refute President Trump’s State of the Union address claim that illegal immigration costs the United States 113 billion a year. The report affirms

“The $113 billion is not a net cost. Taking into consideration federal, state and local tax payments made by the undocumented population, the net cost would be about $99 billion …

“FAIR based its estimates on a pool of 13 million people in the country illegally. It includes at least 3.4 million children who are U.S. citizens born to undocumented parents.”

To get some reference for this number, think of this: The United States has “13 million in the country illegally.” The population of Canada is 37 million people.

The Voting History of Democrats on Illegal Immigration

In 2010, during the Obama administration, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) the lead figure representing Democrat opposition to President Trump during this current budget impasse, led an impassioned call to intensify US, southern border security, in language near identical to the 10 minute border security speech President Trump gave January 7, 2019.

Here is the C-Span video of Senator Schumer’s speech reviling the “drug smugglers, gun runners, human traffickers, money launderers, and organized criminals, threatening innocent Americans’ lives.”

The bill had then passed the Senate with unanimous consent.

As the debate ensues in the public square, Republicans have expressed confusion on air over why

Democrats including Obama, Clinton, Schumer and 23 other Democratic senators voted in favor of the Secure Fence act when it passed in the Senate by a vote of 80 to 19 in 2006.

I cannot find genuine difference causing our very serious crisis (government shutdown) tragically causing mounting troubles for federal employees and citizens, and American lands and agencies who depend on their services, more than, A “fence” or a wall, and B. 700 miles, or 1000 miles.

Is this difference alone why we are now at the point of having lost $3.6 Billion to the US economy, and soon to reach the $5.7 Billion (the amount requested by President Trump for “the wall” amount)?

The leaders dug in, unyielding in their determination to oppose President Trump on this are Congresswoman Nacny Pelosi (D-CA), and Senator Charles (Chuck) Schumer (D-NY).

A 2017 Washington Examiner article put together figures on the costs of illegal immigration to respective US states. Of these, California tops the list, bearing (and that is only monetary reckoning) a cost of $23 Billion.

New York, Senator Schumer’s state is third on the list, bearing an estimated financial burden of $11 Billion due to illegal immigration.

1. California — $23,038,125,353

2. Texas — $10,994,614,550

3. New York — $7,489,141,357

4. Florida — $6,290,429,108

5. New Jersey — $4,466,838,574

6. Illinois — $3,220,767,517

7. Georgia — $2,487,719,503

8. North Carolina — $2,437,965,113

9. Maryland — $2,378,996,947

10. Arizona — $2,314,131,964

The Especially Divided State of the US

Each and everything we we see and hear since November 6, 2016 leads us to know that Americans have all but lost the ability to speak with and learn from one another. This is unfortunate.

Both left and right have unique, essential insights and impulses that the other side lacks. As such I invest greatly to understand the positions of those with whom I disagree. Unfortunately I am having difficulty this time. I cannot find (an honest, not politically driven), based on voting histories, difference more than 300 miles of difference, and a fence or a wall.

The President has requested $5 Billion to address an approximately $100 Billion dollar a year problem, that all involved acknowledge. Within days, refusal to support the President will generate losses of $6 Billion to the US economy, and great hardship to a great many innocent Americans.

In part, I publish this article to ask liberal and progressive friends and readers to explain the reasonableness and necessity of the current decision of Democrats to oppose the US President at this massive cost. Please explain in kind and encouraging ways the good in the Democrat posture. Thank you sincerely.

It should be clear from above, that I struggle to understand (non-cynical) reasons to oppose the President so vehemently and to share a role in something so extreme as shutting down the US government.

No one can predict if a wall will work or not. No one. But all acknowledge a problem. All acknowledge that something must be done. In 2006 by a vote of 80 to 19 those involved in the standoff passed a bill to create “something like” a wall. Leaders including Obama, Clinton, Schumer and 23 other Democratic senators supported something like a wall. Is the difference is really that significant? Please advise.

Elevating the Doctrine of America First

Moving on from this, here is where I feel President Trump defenders and supporters might temper or improve their rhetoric, views and positions. Of course we know, especially in the present time, no good deed goes unpunished. And opponents, rather than being moved or touched by growth and learning, instead often exploit and betray trust and efforts to cooperate. Still, it is my view that the America First Doctrine, can often and easily be misconstrued, and further may in fact be guilty of shortcomings against which its opponents rage.

When tempers simmer down a bit, and US gets back on minimally stable enough footing to at least pay its workers, it is my view that America First policy crafters must intensify both measurable commitment, and messaging that America First is not America Only.

Efforts to bring illegal immigration under control, should not be framed only in the rhetoric that “American lives” are somehow more valuable than the lives of non-Americans. Being American is an accident of birth, or the result of efforts to immigrate. In neither case can this confer greater value to American lives more than any other person alive.

Arguments for strong security and strict, strong stance against illegal immigration should not be presented separating Americans from others in terms of lives having greater or lesser value.

The effort should be framed in the insistence that only a healthy United States can realize its destiny and desire to help all people. The country needs law, peace, and order if we have a best chance to serve, help, and uplift all in our new world hemisphere. Americans must be constant in our words, and in strong evidence, that we will not rest peacefully until our prosperity and our blessed abundance serves the upliftment and well-being of all people, our family south of the border, and our family worldwide.

A delicate and difficult message, but truth is, an infected, crippled body, no matter how grand or mighty remains helpless to serve others. A wall? Why? To serve in real, enduring, systemic and systematic ways, rather than ways that ausage sentiment, but yield no real change. I pray we heal, we stabilize, and we increasingly establish America First is not America Uniquely, or America only.