At midnight on Friday, the United States federal government shut down after the Republican-led Congress and Trump Administration failed to pass legislation extending government funding. Congressional leaders had announced a bipartisan funding deal earlier in the week, but President Trump refused the deal because it did not include funding for a $5 billion border wall.
"It is unconscionable that President Trump would shut down the federal government to secure $5 billion for a wall that the American public does not want," said Rep. Terri Sewell. "This Republican Congress could not find funding for teacher pay, for access to health care, or for infrastructure investments, but they are willing to trigger a shutdown to fund a border wall that is impractical, expensive, and ineffective. This is a one-two punch for American taxpayers, who will both have to pay for the expense of a government shutdown and are now being asked to pay for the expense of Trump's pet project. I urge Republican leadership and this Administration to come to their senses and work with Democrats to pass a funding bill that keeps our government open and focuses government funding on our top national priorities rather than Trump's border wall."
According to a poll conducted this year by Gallup, 57 percent of the American public opposes expanding the construction of walls along the nation's Southern border. Academic studies reviewing the impact of walls and fences around the world fail to provide substantive evidence of the deterrent effect of physical barriers on immigration. In a 2016 study, the Migration Policy Institute found that walls appear to be "relatively ineffective," in deterring illegal immigration.