Imagine There’s a Wall…[op-ed]

Imagine for a moment that life is different, living somewhere outside the United States. Imagine a life in a country where corruption prevails, where crime is a normal part of every day life, and the poverty level is so bad that food is scarce, there aren’t enough jobs, and pay is very little. Imagine a life that never gets better, a life that is slowly killing not only the will to survive, but the means to actually survive. 

For many people in the world, this is a reality. And while every country has a homeless population, the United States has resources that can help provide the basic necessities in life that are required to survive. What if this was not an option? These “root problems have been a driving force for years for immigrants to make the journey to the USA,” (Hayes) risking not only their lives, but separation from their families. It is crystal clear that President Donald Trump cannot imagine this type of life, as he demands more money for his wall. 

Since the beginning of his presidency, Trump has promised a wall, something completely unnecessary, as not all immigrants are criminals that want our jobs and deplete our resources. In fact, with such diversity in the United States, immigrants have helped shape this country just as much as US citizens have. It shouldn’t be as hard as it is for them to become citizens and seek shelter and safe passage for themselves and their families. 

Imagine a life where workable hours are being cut from jobs, a life where wages from those jobs is dwindling, a life where resources like food stamps are no longer available to those that desperately need it. If the “political standoff that began Dec. 22 continues into March . . . [the more than 19 million households that receive food stamp benefits] would receive no money to buy food.” (McCausland).

This government shutdown isn’t due to anything of real importance, such as terrorists or threats against the United States. Instead, Mr. Trump threatened “to keep the federal government partly closed for “months or even years” if he did not get $5.6 billion for his wall at the southern border.” (Stolberg and Tackett) If the shutdown doesn’t get him what he wants, Trump warned “that he is considering declaring a national [state of] emergency to build it [the wall] without congressional approval. (Stolberg and Tackett) 

Building this wall is not a national state of emergency. Most of the people trying to come to the United States are risking their lives for the possibility of a better one, and Trump is taking that possibility, taking that hope away from so many people. 

This isn’t a man acting as a president. This is a man acting as a dictator, a man willing to take important resources away from his own country just to get his way. Because of this tantrum, many Americans will be affected by this government shutdown if it does not resolved soon. Wages aren’t being paid to some, hours are being cut from jobs, and food stamps will soon be gone. Everything he blames immigrants for is something he is doing himself.

Eventually, those that rely on assistance to feed themselves and their families may have to face the fact that they might go hungry. When this happens, when “they cut the food stamps off . . . there’s going to be rioting in the streets.” (McCausland) At that point, citizens may feel pushed into doing things they normally would not do. But backed into a corner, with their family starving, a person is capable of doing anything necessary to survive, even if that means stealing. 

Mr. Trump sees those that are fleeing to the US as criminals, people so dangerous that he feels a national state of emergency needs to be filed to build a wall. What the president doesn’t realize, or maybe he does and doesn’t care, is that by shutting down the government until he gets his way, he could be turning his own people into the criminals he so fervently believes are trying to force their way into the US. 

Imagine for a moment that life is different. Imagine a country with a dictator, not a president, a life in a country where corruption prevails, where crime is a normal part of life and poverty levels have increased, preventing millions the assistance necessary to purchase the food required to survive. Imagine riots in the streets, theft from businesses and grocery stores, fires in the city due to anger and unrest. Imagine that this country is the United States, because that is this country’s future. 

What if you needed a way out? Perhaps a journey to a different country is the only way you can feed yourself and your family, the only way you can keep them safe from the violence that has spread like wildfire. When the journey begins, you have to leave everything you’ve ever known behind just to survive, risking not only all of your lives, but separation from your family during the many miles you’re about to travel. Now…imagine when you arrive there’s a wall…


Hayes, Christal. “Thousands of Immigrants Pass Through the Southern Border. Why Are They Fleeing Their Home Countries? USA Today. June 25, 2018. Web. January 6, 2019.

McCausland, Phil. “Prolonged shutdown could leave millions without food stamps and hit small businesses.” US News. January 5, 2019. NBC News. Web. January 6, 2019.

Stolberg, Sheryl Gay and Michael Tackett. “Trump Suggests Government Shutdown Could Last for ‘Months or Even Years.'” NY Times. January 4, 2019. The New York Times. Web. January 6, 2019.