President Trump Did Not Cave on the Border Wall


President Donald Trump will get funding for his border wall, even if it means declaring a national emergency. (Courtesy of Flickr)

Correction: A previous version of this article stated President Trump offered citizenship for Dreamers in exchange for border wall funding. This has been revised to “protection.”

By Brianna Lyman

The longest government shutdown in U.S. history ended on Jan. 25, with President Trump signing a bill to re-open the government for three weeks. Democrats, and even some Republicans, have called Trump’s decision to re-open the government a concession of sorts.

Cries that President Trump caved under pressure from Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senator Chuck Schumer echoed throughout major media outlets.

Make no mistake, President Trump will get that wall.

This potentially temporary, three week re-opening of the government is a negotiation tactic.

Democrats and Republicans have three weeks to work together, across the aisle, to take a step in the right direction towards curbing the situation on our southern border. If Democrats continue to vehemently refuse to concede to the growing demand amongst Americans and border patrol agents for strong border security, then Democrats will see one of two things.

The government will shut down yet again, or President Trump will declare a national emergency.

If the government shuts down again, Democrats will be to blame. Three weeks allots ample time for Democrats to begin talks of funding the border wall or to work on a solution that puts border security at the forefront. This solution should keep the interests of Americans, not illegal immigrants, in prime focus.

By re-opening the government, President Trump is putting Americans first and giving our representatives another chance to do the same. If Democrats choose to ignore the growing concerns over border security, they will feel it in 2020.

If President Trump chooses the latter and declares a national emergency, he once again has the upper hand. Put simply, he gave the government three weeks’ time to propose a bill that would work towards securing our border. If it can’t do its job, he will take matters into his own hands. President Trump is a businessman; when he wants the job done, he gets the job done.

President Trump previously offered Democrats a deal in which Dreamers brought to the United States illegally as children would be given protection in exchange for funding for the border wall; Democrats, however, naively turned it down. Now, President Trump says that he would reject a similar proposal, noting, that “that’s a separate subject to be taken at a separate time.”

Again, this is all part of his negotiations. This is an all-or-nothing deal at this point. The Democrats’ attempt at business negotiation is just a temporary, three-week “success.”

If the president chooses to declare a national emergency, there have been reports that he has already drafted a document which expands his original demand of $5 billion to $7 billion. If Democrats thought they were beating Trump at his own game, they will be sadly mistaken.

Not only could President Trump now get his wall, but he could potentially be getting it with an extra $2 billion. I say potentially because there are legal challenges as to whether or the president has the authority to free up funds to use for border security. If there are challenges, it could hinder any progress on not only the wall, but on the upcoming election season.

Regardless, President Trump’s decision to re-open the government temporarily was the right one. He is ridiculed for “caving” and re-opening the government by the very same people who berated him for keeping the government closed for so long.

In the event of another shutdown, President Trump will again be criticized, and the shutdown will cause hundreds of thousands of federal workers to work without pay.

However, if Americans choose to ignore President Trump’s attempts to reach a deal regarding border security, then Democrats should bear the burden of these attacks.

The president surely does not want to see our federal employees go without pay. He understands that time is money, and he knows families need to be fed and rents need to be paid. For a man who donates portions of his paycheck to various charities, the media and Democrats have no problem trying to guilt him over postponed federal paychecks while they still collect theirs.

Every single American deserves to live in a nation that enforces its laws equally. They deserve a nation where people who break the law are held accountable and where our politicians are dedicated to enforcing our laws.

Every single American deserves to live in a nation that is secure.

Every single American has a president fighting for them.


Brianna Lyman, FCRH ’20, is an international political economy major from Dobbs Ferry, New York.