Student Thoughts on the Border Wall and the Government Shutdown

By Tessa Jones and Erin Walker

As many of us know, the government has been shut down for a record amount of time (at the time of this writing it's been thirty-four days.) Donald Trump and the Democrats have reached a standstill arguing about the border wall and its budget. This shutdown may have begun affecting your families and friends, so we asked six of your peers what they thought of tighter border security, their background knowledge on the wall, and what they think the final outcome of the government shutdown will ultimately be. They gave us thoughtful responses and their answers show the differing opinions that the James River student body possesses.

What are your thoughts about tighter border security?

Daniel Holter: “I think that if we increase more security it would be a benefit to our country so we can kinda figure out our own problems on the inside, but I don’t think building a physical wall is gonna help anything whatsoever.”

Ian Dehaven: “I think there has to be a middle line between being the extreme of the wall and having open borders. I think that if we have an open border, we have an anarchy; there’s a reason why you have to enter this country through a process legally. You have to be a documented citizen, not an undocumented immigrant, or whatever euphemism the left wants to use, but there has to be like a structure so that we’re not just giving handouts to what are essentially for nationals before our own citizens.”

Ethan Whitt: “I really think that we should start considering tighter border security, just so we can take care of our own people first. I don’t think there needs to be a wall, I think there’ll always be a way around the wall, and that’s not the solution we need.”

Megan Hill: “I do not think we need to put government funding toward a physical border wall, instead we should have a more effective vetting process.”

Elizabeth Rice: “I think a tighter border security would be better than building a wall.”

Anonymous: “America does not need to put money into a border wall. It would be wasteful. America instead should be putting money into fixing Flint’s water problem, the student debt crisis, and helping people seeking asylum in America transition into American society easier and quicker. People argue that undocumented immigrants are taking free handouts from “real Americans.” Actually, undocumented immigrants are ineligible to receive federal benefits. I believe that there should be open borders.”

What is your background knowledge of Trump’s border wall?

DH: “I’ve heard that it’s supposed to be a big, metal wall, it’s supposed to be pretty on our side (that’s a quote by Donald Trump), and it’s about all I know about it. For me, it just doesn’t make any sense because you can just get in a boat and go around the wall.”

ID: “I’ve heard that it’s supposed to be a big, metal wall, it’s supposed to be pretty on our side (that’s a quote by Donald Trump), and it’s about all I know about it. For me, it just doesn’t make any sense because you can just get in a boat and go around the wall.”

EW: “Old DJ has been pretty adamant about getting the wall built, but I don’t think that’s gonna happen.”

MH: “When Trump announced that he would build a wall and "make Mexico pay for it," his campaign became largely based on illegal immigration issues he believes could be solved by a border wall. The projected cost of the border wall has steadily increased.”

ER: “I know that Trump wants billions of dollars to build a huge wall to separate Mexico and the USA.”

ANON: “Trump built his whole campaign on lies about undocumented immigrants and other minorities. He blatantly lies about the amount of drugs and crime coming through the border and the wall is just another thing to fuel his ego.”

So the government has been shut down for a record amount of time, what do you think will be the final solution?

DH: “I think that the government should start doing its job and compromise some, and do what’s best for the American people. I don’t think that building a physical wall will be plausible by any point in time, and so I think it would be best if we just increase our border security, but not with a physical wall but in some other matter, and not spend so much time in other countries trying to take care of their problems.”

ID: “I think that someone has to cave, and that it’s not going to be Donald.”

EW: “Well, I think, I’m confident in the near future that there will be a compromise that will be made with some new border security policy that will satisfy the Democrats because they don’t have a wall, and it will satisfy the Republicans because they’re cracking down on security.

MH: “I think Trump and Democrats will eventually come to a compromise and fund much more border security and possibly fencing, but I do not think a border wall will be government funded.”

ER: “I think hopefully both sides will make some sort of compromise.”

ANON: “I hope the Democrats hold firm. America doesn’t need to bar people from coming into land that was originally stolen from them anyways. Trump needs to chill out and stop letting his ego get him in trouble.”