On Thursday, details of the president’s immigration deal were released to several news outlets. President Trump hopes to see a bill passed in Congress that would protect 1.8 million immigrants — including Dreamers — in exchange for $25 billion dollars for the creation of a large border wall with Mexico. Amid the controversy, I think this deal can be seen as a win for both sides.
First, this proposal shows Democrats that the president is willing to work toward fixing a broken immigration system. Trump wowed most of the nation by announcing that the deal would protect over 1.1 million more people than anyone expected him to. Recent news suggested that 700,000 Dreamers would face deportation if Congress did not agree on a deal to keep them in the country and on a path to citizenship.
This framework shows Trump’s ability to get what he really wants. He shows a compassionate side to the issue of immigration, while also wanting to fulfill the promises he made on the campaign trail, namely his promise to build the wall. The wall has been a topic of conversation for more than two years now, with a majority of Americans opposed to the idea.
However, if you voted for Trump in the 2016 election, this news of the wall receiving potential funding in the near future has to make you feel good about your decision. Trump has made good on a lot of his promises so far, and a win with the border wall would only strengthen his résumé after his first year in office.
Regardless of the support behind the idea, the border wall is a ridiculous idea. I support the idea of immigration reform, but this wall is not reform at all. This is the 21st century — a time when funding for the border patrol agencies that are already in existence would surely be a better use of the taxpayer’s dollars. Trump should be focusing on beefing up our already elite, trained agents on the southern border. I think that it would be a sign of respect to invest in them directly, rather than building a wall that will surely be tunneled under and flown over. It would show these agents that their president believes in what they are working so hard to accomplish day in and day out.
On the other side of the aisle, Democrats have an interesting decision to make. If they accept this deal, they will surely lose steam for the upcoming elections. Virtually no Democrat wants to see this wall built. However, most of the people belonging to this party want to see the Dreamers saved from deportation. The interesting thing to note here is that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has offered funding for the border wall in the past. However, it is not certain if he was simply using this as a bargaining chip to gauge how serious Trump was about saving the Dreamers.
I would reject the deal until I had a strong outline of where and how Trump would like to use this funding. A funding of $25 billion dollars for a concrete wall seems absurd in this day and age. However, the idea of saving 1.8 undocumented people and giving them a path to citizenship does seem like a pretty good idea — and it would be one the public would welcome with open arms.
I would also reject the deal based on the fact that Trump wants to get rid of a policy that has been in place since 1965, which gives immigration preference to those who already have family living legally in the United States. I believe this precedent shows that the future immigrant has a home and a group to rely on if they get stuck in a rough spot in their first few years our country. I found it strange that this was part of the deal at all.
President Trump has been under fire since he first took office, and rightfully so. He has made his mistakes, but he has also worked to bring the middle class back to what is once was. This will be an interesting decision by both parties. I just hope that someone convinces the president to use the money for border agency funding and not a magic wall that will solve all of our problems.