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KATIE ZERR: Is the result worth all the hardship?

As the American people bear the brunt of the partial government shutdown will Republican lawmakers stand up to the president and vote to reopen the federal government without funding the wall?
Calling the situation a national crisis, the president and the majority of Republicans including those serving South Dakota, are pushing for money to fund the wall along the border of the U.S. and Mexico.
Republicans are refusing to budge on their demand for wall funds. The Democrats are refusing to budge on their pledge of no wall funding. While they play a political a game of keep away with the lives of 800,000 federal workers, contractors, small business owners, agricultural operators and Native Americans in this country, we have to sit by and pray someone gains some common sense.
A recent CBS poll found more than 70 percent of Americans feel the wall is not worth the government shutdown.
So why aren’t politicians listening?
The situation is described by the president and Republican leaders as a national crisis as thousands pour over the border each day. They say the border is a pipeline for vast quantities of illegal drugs, including meth, heroin, cocaine and fentanyl.
The truth is that, according to federal law enforcement statistics, most fentanyl comes from China. Most heroin enters the U.S. through the border with Mexico, but of that most is intercepted at legal ports of entry, according to a 2018 report by the Drug Enforcement Administration.
The report states that only a small percentage of heroin seized at the border is land transported. According to a DEA report, Mexican cartels move “the bulk of their drugs” over the border using passenger vehicles or tractor trailers.
If this has been such a national emergency, why hasn’t it been a priority for the Republicans in Congress until right now? Why didn’t the Congress pass funding for the wall when the Republicans had control?
The biggest question is how we got to this place? When Trump was running for president, didn’t he promise that the Mexicans would pay for the wall? Now we are not paying government employees so he can force the taxpayers to pay for a campaign promise he could never keep.
We now watch as he digs his heels in, the Democrats cross their arms and turn their backs and meanwhile, members of the U. S. Coast Guard are having to rely on food pantries and donations during the partial government shutdown.
Our farmers and ranchers had their hands tied when it comes to loans, operations capital and other deals handled by federal USDA offices. People need to get paid and if those federal agencies are not operating, those loan payments are not getting made even if the operators have the money. It is a complicated mess that may get straightened out as the FSA offices reopen.
The shutdown is hitting American Indians harder than most people as proportionately, federal employment of the reservations is much higher than most of the country outside of Washington, D.C. When there are no checks coming in, it hurts the poorest of Americans the hardest.
With no federal government workers to man federal offices on reservations, critical funds are cut to some of the nation’s poorest communities. These include funding for health services, education, law enforcement and basic everyday needs such as the food and care for the elderly. Nearly all funding has been cut since the shutdown began, crippling these services in Native American communities.
Study after study say the wall will not accomplish what the president says it will. It will not keep people from crossing into this country illegally. The reports state cartels use sophisticated methods to bring drugs into this country and that the stories of masses of “drug mules” carrying pounds if illegal substances into this country is basically a myth.
We as a nation must decide if all of the hardship caused by this political pettiness is worth it.
If our little hissy fit makes an impact on the global economy as is predicted by economic experts, will we not lose even more standing in the international community?
Is this grand testament to the Trump presidency worth all of the harm it is causing?
These are not the views of liberals or left leaning news networks, but factual information taken from actual written reports, polls and economic experts.
Americans see the damage this is causing to hard-working people just trying to keep their families fed and elders cared for as the national crisis.
How many of us would work for weeks and weeks at our jobs without seeing a paycheck? Although the federal workers are being promised back pay when someone in Washington finally caves, there are so many people who will not be able to make up what they have lost.
Those small businesses that depend on federal workers for their day-to-day income are suffering and they will not recover their losses.
Is the archaic idea of a wall more important than the people of our nation and their ability to keep their heads above water?
This is what we need to think about as we chant “Build the Wall!”
– Katie Zerr –