Since the day Donald Trump announced his candidacy for president, his number one objective has been to make Americans safe from the predations of illegal immigrants who have been flooding across our Southern border. Now, good to his word, he has spared no effort to fulfill his promise to build a big beautiful wall to keep out undesirables in a feud with Congressional Democrats.
It turns out that most of the illegal immigrants gain entry legally, mainly through fully staffed border crossings and airports. But now the president has gotten himself into a spitting contest with Congressional Democrats over his beloved wall.
When they declined to meet his demands for an initial $5.7 billion payment to build his wall, he refused to sign any bills providing funding to operate the Department of Homeland Security and several other government agencies. This has resulted in suspending the pay of TSA agents and US Customs inspectors.
Classified essential employees, these folks have been expected to report for duty every day. Working under relatively stressful conditions even during normal times, these people are among the lowest paid federal employees.
Predictably, the wait times are getting longer at the nation’s busiest airports as increasing numbers of workers are calling in sick – or even quitting. As the government shutdown continues, these conditions will grow progressively worse. If these workers go unpaid for much longer, they will stay away in droves.
We all know what happens across the nation when bad weather disrupts air travel for even a few hours. Imagine what will happen as businesses begin to feel the pinch of less frequent and reliable service.
Meanwhile, the growing chaos in our airports very likely will provide the truly evil foreigners with much better opportunities to enter our country. Of course, that too will be the fault of the Congressional Democrats.
The supreme irony of these developments is surely lost on our president. While he very likely believes his intransigence will make America safe, it is apparently having the exact opposite effect.
About the Author
Steve Slavin has a PhD in economics from NYU, and taught for over thirty years at Brooklyn College, New York Institute of Technology, and New Jersey’s Union County College. He has written sixteen math and economics books including a widely used introductory economics textbook now in its eleventh edition (McGraw-Hill) and The Great American Economy (Prometheus Books) which was published in August, 2017.