Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

“America first” should put Dreamers first

Just last week, the government shut down on the anniversary of Donald Trump’s first year in office. Democrats and Republicans could not come to an agreement regarding immigration, which kept them from passing a budget for the new year. After three days, Congress was able to come to pass a short-term spending bill, which will only last until February 8th.
Though it seems like Congress has finally accomplished something, this short-term bill is just the calm before another storm. You would think with a Republican majority in all three branches of the government, a more permanent spending bill could be enacted. However, with only a short term solution and DACA hanging on a thread, it seems like no one in the government knows what to do.
I found this to be a common theme throughout 2017 and coming into the new year: bipartisan issues take up more time than the issues affecting citizens. Democrats wanted the new spending bill to include protection for Dreamers, however the Republicans were hoping that in return, they would get funding for Trump’s border wall.
The education, citizenship status, and safety of thousands of young people should take precedence over an unnecessary, expensive wall. Of course, neither President Trump nor Congress seem to be able to come an agreement because of their own personal politics. Congress and the Trump administration have just a little over a month to find a solution, and personally, I am skeptical about whether that will be possible. President Trump has been in office, and while he is always willing to boast about his accomplishments, he does not seem to be willing to communicate with Congress, and vice versa.
There is only about a week left until the government is due for another shut down, and it’s hard to tell what will really happen. Though the border wall was part of Trump’s campaign promises, he also promised to help Dreamers if he could (even though DACA is set to repeal in March). The question that Congress and the president have to answer is, which promise is more feasible to fulfill? The lives of many Dreamers are at risk, and it does not seem like Congress and the administration is even thinking about that. A wall should not be considered a priority compared to Dreamers, but that is the message that Congress is sending.
President Trump has sent many different signals about his views on immigration, but his actions and those of Congress show that there is no organization for these views. If he wants to be an effective president, then he should start with fulfilling the promises he has made not just for his followers but for all Americans, which includes Dreamers. Right now, President Trump is not the president for his most devoted followers; he is the president for all of us, and as such, he must consider everyone in the country.

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“America first” should put Dreamers first