Fred Henneke, Attorney & Counselor-At-Law
Today about 1/3rd of the United States government is “shutdown”, including the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of State and the Department of Justice. This means that those persons working in the shutdown departments that are “essential” are still working but not getting paid until after the shutdown, and those persons deemed “non-essential” and furloughed are not working and have no guarantee of receiving their back pay when their department is funded. Since the shutdown is ostensibly over funding for border security to deal with the real or perceived crisis on our southern border, it is more than ironic that, among the “non-essential”, are the immigration judges and courts that process asylum claims!
Before we dive deeper into this subject, let us agree that our immigration laws are a joke and completely broken; furthermore, border security is a national priority. OK?
So, who are the players in this farce?
- President Donald Trump. It is the President’s insistence that the continuing resolution funding the shutdown portion of the government include $5 billion for the “Wall”. He told the Democratic leadership of Congress in a televised meeting in the Oval Office that he would take the blame for any shutdown over border security -i.e., the Wall. He is now trying to shift the blame to the Democrats. There are some unsubstantiated rumors that the President might accept less that is dedicated to a Wall/fence/physical barrier, but nothing concrete.
- The Impotent Republican Leaders in the House.You might ask why I include Paul Ryan, et at, since control of the House passes to the Democrats in 2 days. Easy; for 2 years the Republicans have had control of the House but failed to pass any legitimate immigration reform or border security legislation. In frustration, Ryan finally gave up trying to lead his Cub Scout troop out of the telephone booth and went home.
- Nancy (Pelosi) and Chuck (Schumer). The leaders of the Democrats in the House and Senate seem more enthused about making political points than serving the American people. “You say Potahto, I say Potayto. Can’t we all just get along?”. The President is so mercurial that it appears hard to make a deal with him, but that doesn’t mean you give up. If the professionals, – i.e., Border Patrol, ICE, etc. -say a physical barrier is necessary in certain circumstance, for heaven’s sake recognize that, provide appropriate funding and move on.
- Mitch McConnell. The Majority Leader of the United States Senate acts more like the mother hen to a batch of unruly chicks that the head of the “world’s greatest deliberative body”. His sole mission in life is to preserve the Republican majority in the Senate rather than advance meaningful legislation that might solve the many increasing serious issues facing America. Since the electoral tables for the Senate are flipped from 2018 to 2020 (the Republicans have far more Senators up for re-election in 2020 that do the Democrats), one can anticipate that Mr. McConnell will not permit any controversial votes to make their way to the Senate floor lest a Democrat have a campaign issue in 2020.
- YOU, and ME, and US. Once again, our elected leaders are failing in their fundamental, constitutional duty of LEGISLATING for the AMERICAN GREATER GOOD, not partisan advantage. Our mission – tell our elected leaders politely, persistently and clearly, that we expect – no,demand – that they do their job and work i behalf of the American people not their petty re-election needs
“They can pontificate, but someone has to compromise and someone has to make a deal. Sometimes you don’t get it just the way you want, But it is time we put the interests of the United States of America first”. President George H.W. Bush, regarding the budget deficit deal that resulted in him violating his “No new taxes” campaign pledge and that he knew doomed his re-election.