News Alert: Trump Vows Government Shutdown Over Border Wall Funding
December 13, 2018
During the final months of 2018, immigration has received constant news attention. The Trump administration controversially challenged rights of asylum seekers at the United States border. The administration has also worked to upend other aspects of immigration law and practice, including DACA, H-1B visas, and refugee admissions. Every action paints a hardline, anti-immigrant stance on the part of the current president. This isn’t surprising considering Trump’s 2016 campaign promises and platform.
President Pushes for Wall Despite Paltry Evidence
Nearly two years into his presidency, Trump continues to fight for funding for the construction of his promised border wall. The 2016 presidential election was full of shouts of “build the wall!” And, despite investigation many questions remain. How will the U.S. actuallybuild the wall? What will it cost? How long will it take? What is the yearly monetary commitment required to maintain the structure?
Unfortunately, many of these questions remain unanswered, or partially answered. Several prototypes have been constructed and tested, with little success. Additionally, government reports suggest that the wall would likely cost far more than Trump’s current estimate of five billion dollars.
We recently highlighted the feasibility of a continuous border wall, including the various structural and procedural concerns that exist. In the article, we explore the current cost estimates for the wall’s construction and maintenance, as well as its overall feasibility. You can read that article here.
Meeting with Democrats Leads to Public Threats
President Trump continues to demand $5 billion in government support for his border wall. While House Republicans indeed provided the funds via their Homeland Security spending bill, it’s very uncertain if the bill has enough support to pass.
Democrats in both the House and Senate have continually expressed opposition to any sort of physical barrier at the southern U.S. border. The Wall Street Journal reports that Democrats in the Senate are willing to provide $1.6 billion in border security support, an already generous sum.
Contentious Meeting at the White House
On Tuesday, December 11, Trump met in the White House with Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. The meeting, intended to discuss the impending spending bill required to keep the federal government running, soon became a heated argument.
The American public watched as its president “bickered” with lead Democrats, threatening that he would be willing to shut down the government to receive his border wall funding.
“I am proud to shut down the government for border security,” Trump said to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.
As Week Progresses, Shutdown Looms
This week, the government teeters on the brink of shutdown. Last week, Congress postponed a final decision by passing a two-week spending bill. This stopped a partial shutdown that would have begun over the weekend.
It appears that many Republicans support funding the president’s border wall. Despite this, Democrats in the House and Senate are pushing back, offering more modest sums for “border security,” but not a physical wall.
It is uncertain at this time whether or not the president will force a government shutdown to garner funds for his border wall. Davis & Associates will continue to monitor the situation and post updates as they become available.
What Happens During a Government Shutdown?
Surprisingly, while federal government shut downs are not good, they don’t entirely shut down the government. Many branches, including the military and U.S. Postal Service, continue to function. Unfortunately, though, several entities do entirely stop work, temporarily laid off until U.S. leaders pass spending agreements. When a federal employee stops work during a government shutdown, they are “furloughed.”
The most recent full government shutdown occurred in 2013 under President Barack Obama. According to PBS, the shutdown furloughed around 850,000 employees and cost over $2.5 billion in lost productivity, wages, and benefits of furloughed staff.
PBS News Hour breaks down exactly what government shutdowns mean, as well as their consequences. You can read the full article here.
We’re Here to Help.
The threat of a government shutdown can make anyone nervous. If you or a loved one have questions or concerns about the Trump administration’s immigration goals and policies, don’t hesitate to contact an expert immigration attorney. The lawyers at Davis & Associates follow current immigration law so that you don’t have to worry. Schedule a free consultation today to discuss your concerns and make a plan. We can help with any immigration law concern.
 Taylor, A. (2018, January 18). What happens during a government shutdown? PBS News Hour. Retrieved from https://www.pbs.org/newshour