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Difficult conversations that require compromise and compassion

Thanks to Donald Trump and his Republican enablers in Congress, the United States government has become a hostage situation this holiday season.

The highlight is that Mr. Trump has shut down the federal government after going back on an agreement to keep it open. Now, as many as 800,000 federal workers are not getting paid over the holidays, while the President bemoans his position and posturing via Twitter.

This comes alongside a stock market collapse caused in no small part due to the chaos and uncertainty he has created, two sudden and unplanned announcements of troop withdrawals, and a mass staff exodus at the highest levels of his administration.

The Trump Shutdown is a hostage situation, all right. The ransom demand? Building a wasteful, colossally expensive monument to Trump's xenophobia on our southern border that experts agree will not substantially increase the security of our border.

This is insanely irresponsible. The basic job of our government is to keep the lights on and keep functioning, but Mr. Trump can't even accomplish that.

At the least, Trump should allow the government to reopen while we continue to talk about the best way to reform our immigration system under divided government.

My take? We must have secure borders, but we can do that without a taxpayer-funded monument to racism and xenophobia.

We must recognize the importance of treating undocumented immigrants with humanity and dignity, and with the actual, important role they currently play in our economy. We must protect DREAMers and asylum seekers, and close all prison camps immediately. We must absolutely keep families together and do everything possible to prevent another tragedy of a migrant child dying in the custody of Customs and Border Patrol.

These are difficult conversations that require compromise and compassion — not unilateral decisions off the back of childish tantrums.

I'm going to do my part to bring sanity back to Washington, D.C., and humanity to this conversation.

Jim

Posted on December 30, 2018.

Meet Jim

Congressman Jim Himes is a tireless voice for common-sense, independent solutions to the challenges facing Connecticut. He's looking out for the middle class, fighting for affordable health care for all, taking on special interests like the NRA to end gun violence, and working to create economic opportunity for working families.

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