By Geneva Ng

On Tuesday, December 11th, Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer met with President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence to discuss certain funding measures regarding America’s southern border. This issue of border security has been the focus of numerous debates since before the inception of the Trump administration. Efforts to improve security at our nation’s southern border is currently receiving bipartisan support, as the effects of the issue are continuously growing. Intense yet fruitless Oval Office debates do nothing to halt the exploitation of “women, children, indigenous persons, persons with mental and physical disabilities, migrants, and LGBTI individuals” (U.S. Dept. of State) in the form of human trafficking and sex slavery between the United States and Mexico. The drug epidemic in the US is the result of the southern border being “the principal arrival zone for most of the illicit drugs smuggled into the United States, as well as the predominant staging area for the drugs’ subsequent distribution throughout the country,” according the the U.S. Dept. of State, which includes the movement of heroin between the two countries. In an effort do something about these atrocities, both Senator Schumer and Representative Pelosi have agreed on a plan for a fence along the United States border with a 1.3 billion dollar price tag. For only $3.7 billion more, our country can afford to build the wall President Trump has been staunchly promoting all this time. If this proposed deal is not accepted by Republicans in Congress, the Department of Homeland Security – which will be the recipient of these funds –  will simply run out of money and thus, the government will be forced to shut down. From this meeting, Americans can now gather that President Trump is willing to force a government shutdown if an agreement is not met. President Trump solidified this point when he went on to say, “I will be the one to shut it down. I’m not going to blame you for it,” to Senator Schumer. A great deal of responsibility is attached to this statement. If his $5 billion border wall plan is not negotiated nor agreed upon, he will have to take total accountability for another shutdown of the United States Government. Considering the situation in its entirety, hopefully the American public can fully realize the grave nature of this controversial issue.