This Friday, President Donald Trump finally agreed to reopen the federal government after weeks of stalemate sparked by him refusing to approve any funding without billions of dollars for a border wall blocking off Mexico — but not before the effects of his grandstanding could make themselves known. California Democratic Congressman Mark Takano highlighted the situation with a new version of the cover for Trump’s iconic book The Art Of The Deal — with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) as the author.
— Mark Takano (@RepMarkTakano) January 25, 2019
For weeks, she refused to budge in the face of the president’s demands for over $5 billion for a wall that does not correspond to any actual needs on the ground. He’s claimed there’s an invasion underway — but in reality, undocumented border crossings continue their overall downward trend, and there’s little evidence suggesting immigrants are more prone to crime than native-born Americans. He’s suggested terrorists are getting into the U.S. through undocumented immigration over the southern border, but the State Department itself says there’s no evidence of that.
In reality, the “real” crisis at the border constitutes a spike in the number of women and children who are seeking asylum in the United States and fleeing violence in their home countries.
Trump’s solution to that problem is to put up a wall. His administration has also sought to counter asylum efforts through other means, most of which have been successfully countered in court, including their efforts to restrict the kinds of violence that can warrant the required “credible fear” on the part of an asylum seeker and their effort to keep asylum from anyone who doesn’t cross at a designated port of entry. A federal judge in that latter case essentially ruled that Trump can’t rewrite federal immigration law just because he wants to.
Yet, he’s continued to try that route anyway — and it’s gotten him here. Besides the fact that he’s still fighting asylum seekers, this time pushing them back into Mexico to wait for their claims to process, for now at least, Pelosi was victorious and got the government reopened along with her Democratic colleagues. She’s long been blunt in her assessment of the situation, bringing forward the stories of affected workers at press conferences and lambasting the president for letting the American government itself hang in the balance over his demands.
She tweeted Friday that he must “stop endangering the safety, security and well-being of our nation” and “Re-open government now!” after significant flight delays rocked airports along the East Coast thanks to air traffic controllers being among those going without pay thanks to the shutdown.
The deal that emerged this Friday reopens shuttered government agencies through February 15, which puts over 800,000 government employees back in the clear, although over one million government contractors have forever lost that period of pay.
He’s insisted that he’s willing to have the government shutdown again if he doesn’t get what he wants — but his fatalistic negotiation methods haven’t gotten him particularly far yet.
Featured Image via YouTube screenshot