The historic 35-day partial government shutdown sent shockwaves throughout the United States and the world. Almost one million federal workers went weeks without pay and had been asked and overall were demanded to work without pay or without promise of pay.
Never in the history of the Union has this ever occurred, yet what’s even crazier is the fact that there is a real possibility that it may happen again time within only a few weeks. Currently, the deal that helped open the government expires this Friday, Feb 15. Democrats have stayed firm in denying the President and the Republican Party the 5 billion taxpayer dollars for the border wall with Mexico but have also signaled that they may be willing to concede a billion or two. The President and the Republican Caucus have done likewise, pulling back on their $5 billion demand and may accept a $1 or $2 billion deal.
The problem that resides now is what politicians familiar with the talks refer to as the ‘bed situation.’ Across the southern border, tens of thousands of immigrants and asylum seekers are being detained, in some instances, indefinitely. This of course includes thousands of children as young as toddlers who are being systematically separated from their biological parents and in many instances, will never be reunited with them. The indefinite detention of immigrants is hailed by the Republican Caucus as a necessary evil in order to hold and stop criminals from entering the country, while the Democrats and civil liberties groups claim it to be a humanitarian crisis of untold proportions. In one aspect or another, both groups and both parties are correct and wrong at the same time.
The Republican Party is correct to say that it is paramount that violent criminals are not allowed into the country, while they are wrong in assuming that all immigrants come to do harm to the country. The Democratic Party is correct that civil liberties, the same ones that are sketched in the Declaration of Independence and is proudly displayed in the U.S Constitution, should be upheld and not eliminated; the right to not self-incriminate, the right to an attorney, the right to due process, the right to seek political asylum, the right to practice one’s religion and live their life as a free and independent individual should not and shall not be impeached upon by the federal or any form of government. This is because, if we even for a moment, out of fear or hate, allow any group of people to be denied their basic human rights, then we open the path for any other marginalized group to be treated as such. This could lead to a Muslim database, or even worse, genocide.
In other words, it is justice for all or justice for none. The United States still stands for more than just military might or wealth. The United States of America still represent the United People of the world, where anyone, from any background and any religion can prosper and live in relative peace and harmony. It is these core principles, in the unalienable rights awarded to us all by our creator that distinguishes us from any other power in the world. American freedom was what gave birth to global prosperity and democracy, to global peace and most importantly, to the humane treatment of others who are not of our creed. Although our history is paved in blood, our future does not have to be. Just because this country has had its share of evils does not imply that it must relive them or create them. Overall, the real question is, who are we and what do we stand for if not the righteous idea of freedom?