Understanding Government Shutdowns, Immigration Policies, and National Emergencies in the U.S.

Categories: Government Shutdown

The belief whether or not a government shutdown is necessary can be difficult to grasp if not all factual information is presented to you. This source better explains what a government shutdown is and what happens after a shutdown occurs. The article clarifies that a government shutdown involves Congress disapproving a federal budget. A budget needs to be passed in order to be able to fund the government. Until lawmakers are able to agree on a budget, all nonessential functions of the United States government will be closed.

“When the government shuts down, that doesn’t mean that all federal operations cease – just the ones deemed nonessential”.

In a sense, that means that those individuals that are almost “not as important” will be laid off. Examples of this would be those working at national parks or processing passport and visa applications. Those individuals will be sent home with a deducted pay. However, an interesting fact the author mentions is that, although all military personnel will continue to be an essential aspect and continue to function, they will not be getting paid for their services.

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“The border will still be patrolled; they will not get paid. Folks will still be fighting the fires out West; they will not get paid.” (Berenson, 2018). One could argue that men are women are fighting for their lives as well as for our country, so how can they possibly be considered nonessential?

Other government offices such as the U.S. mail will remain open if the government was shutdown, however, they remain unpaid.

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Berenson says, a total of 12 shutdowns have happened since 1981, lasting anywhere from one day up to 21 days. This article provides informational aspects to what a government shutdown is. A strength to this article is that Berenson describes what a government shutdown is and how it affects different areas without going too into detail about the government’s actions. She explicitly relies on factual information to better describe how a shutdown works. A weakness to this article is that she could have better explained who else outside of the government offices are affected by a shutdown.

Understanding who and what is affected by a government shutdown and how will ultimately prepare you if you were the one affected by it. It is better to be aware of what toll it would take rather than to catch it by surprise. This article provides information on what services are disturbed when the government does shutdown and how they are affected. Will you be affected? The first affected area that this article describes is Social Security and Medicare. In this area, checks are still sent out. However, the benefit verification or the issuance of cards is what would be ceased. Another service affected is Air-Travel. “During the 2018-2019 shutdown, air travel was strained as a result of air traffic controllers and TSA agents working without pay” (2019).

This affected travelers due to longer lines in the airport because TSA agents did not report to work. This article continues to describe other affected areas such as Health and Human Services, IRS, and National Parks. Furthermore, federal employees will also be affected. The article stays that 420,000 employees reported to work, however, remained unpaid until the shutdown fully ended. This article does a tremendous job focusing on every point of a government shutdown. In regard to the aforementioned article, this article goes more in depth with what a government shutdown is, who it affects and how, whether or not a shutdown will save money, if it can be avoided, and other aspects of a shutdown.

The strength of this article is the quality of information provided to help understand how a full government shutdown can affect major areas. A strength of this article that can be potentially used in a research paper is that it reveals areas describing how Congress can avoid a shutdown. The article explains two different ways to avoid a government shutdown. “Passing appropriations or a continuing resolution” (2019). Another added strength of this article is that it goes on to elaborate what each of those are. This type of article impresses an audience in the fact that there are no weaknesses to fully critique. The article and authors do a great job depicting what is necessary information to know about a full shutdown.

History is what is relied on as a starting point for all areas of the government. In order for a bill to become a law, there are steps that must be followed. History is preserved here in that the same steps will always be followed. This source does its duty when outlining how a bill becomes a law. This article starts by identifying its starting point. The beginning mark is that an idea is developed. This idea comes from a Representative or a Senator deciding to sponsor a bill. Once the idea is proposed as a bill, co-sponsors may be asked to join. The next step is that a bill is drafted and prepared so that it can be introduced. Once introduced it is filed by a legislator in their own chamber.

It can stem from the House of Representatives or the Senate. The bill can then go in two different directions. If the bill does not get called for First Reading, it dies”. However, if the bill gets scheduled for its first reading, it is then read for the first time to the entire legislative body. Next steps are described as the bill gets assigned to a committee if the bill is advanced. If the bill does get advanced, it is then sent for a public hearing. This hearing allows for the bill to either be voted upon or tabled. If the bill gets tabled it can potentially not come back for a vote. The chance that the bill gets casted a vote by the committee, it can then be defeated, or it can advance. A Second Reading is in order, here the bill is printed and must be reviewed.

The bill can still die at this point. If advanced, a Third Reading is held. If scheduled again, amendments are still able to be made. Following a vote on the added amendments, the bill comes to another vote by the entire legislative body. If majority vote is against the bill, it dies. The order of the bill review is completed exactly the same for both the House and the Senate. “The bill can “die” at any step of the way, just as it can in the house of origin” (2001). If the bill does advance again, it then returns to its house of origin. Once both houses decide that they want the bill to advance, it is sent to a Conference Committee. This consists of four members, two from each legislative body and two from both major political parties.

If an agreement is not reached, the bill dies. However, if agreement is reached, the bill is then sent to the Governor. He has the ability to sign it, veto it, or do nothing. If he signs it, the bill then becomes a law. This source does a remarkable job describing step by step how a bill becomes a law. The strength of this article is in its context itself. Each step is defined to make an individual feel as if they were experts on how a bill is passed. No weaknesses were identified in this source due to the thoroughness of the information included.

Border security is a huge topic in the U.S. Government as frequently discussed by President Donald Trump. The history of border security had started as early as 1904. Many changes to border patrol have been changed but the basic values of it have continued to remain the same. It originated when watchmen of the U.S. Immigration Service patrolled the border, trying to prevent illegal crossings. At this time, “Customs violations and intercepting communications to “the enemy” seemed to be of a greater concern than enforcing immigration regulations in the early years of the twentieth century” (“Border Patrol History”, 2018). This article continues to elaborate the border control and the prohibition.

Furthermore, it describes how the Border Patrol role expands. Throughout the years a taskforce was constructed of 800 Border Patrol agents in order to round up and ship home thousands of illegal immigrants. Many of the repatriation programs had failed due to being expensive. In today’s border patrol, the article states that the 1980s and 1990s included a tremendous increase of illegal immigrants to America. The response of Border Patrol was increasing manpower and implementing modern technology. This source goes on to elaborate how the Patrol is working on locating and apprehending those crossing in the United States illegally. “A defined national strategic plan was introduced alongside Operation Gatekeeper and set out a plan of action for the Border Patrol into the future” (“Border Patrol History”, 2018). This allowed for concentration areas to be shifted elsewhere since illegal entries became more manageable.

The end focus of this article was to state that the U.S. Border Patrol will continue their efforts with controlling the nation’s borders. Specialized technology will be created to assist agents as well as the cooperation with contiguous countries will increase border safety. The strength of this article is the source itself. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection website is a reliable and informational resource. The topic of this source was straightforward and touched on every area. An additional strength is that it describes the history and background of border security but then also describes border security as it is today and how it will potentially increase for the better, in the future.

Previously mentioning border security and its history, the main topic is immigration. Immigrants coming to the U.S. illegally is a strong topic that President Trump is trying to get rid of with his proposal of a wall. The history of immigration laws stem from the 18th and 19th centuries. Americans encouraged free and open immigration throughout those times, assuming they did not realize what it could result in, in the later years. This source elaborates on the historical views of immigration policies and begins explaining that open immigration was encouraged in the 1800s (“Historical Overview of Immigration Policy”, n.d.). Continuing on to later years, the article strongly depicts how the history of immigration laws have changed.

“In 1986, Congress passed the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA)” (“Historical Overview of Immigration Policy”, n.d.). In the 2000s the Legal Immigration Family Equity Act (LIFE) was passed aiming at illegal aliens who were hoping to be green card holders. Immigration was not taken lightly especially after the terrorist attack in 2001. In 2006, the issue of immigration was reassessed between the House of Representatives and the Senate. (“Historical Overview of Immigration Policy”, n.d.). Furthermore, in 2012, President Obama came into action within the area of immigration with proposing two-year grants. These grants protected children from deportation.

The election of President Trump started the rise of immigration as being such a topic of discussion. The article discusses that Trumps main campaign message was in fact immigration. This is where the building of a wall comes into play. A weakness of this article is that it does a poor job of actually identifying the needs of Trump wanting to build a wall and the weak areas of why the wall could potentially not pan out. This article proposes weaknesses in not necessarily stating all of the facts of the wall and Trumps potential plans. However, in addition to those weaknesses, a strength noticed in this article is that the authors did provide factual information on how immigration laws have changed from the 1800s to now.

The aforementioned article gave great facts with the history of immigration laws. However, more research should have been provided in different areas. This source, published in 2015, gives updates and facts on how U.S. immigration laws have actually changed by providing text as well as graphs to better grasp an idea of how the percentage of the population is actually immigration along the years. This article actually begins with stating facts before the 1800s, really grasping where immigration laws began. “A 1790 law was the first to specify who could become a citizen, limiting that privilege to free whites of “good moral character” who had lived in the U.S. for at least two years.

In 1870, the right of citizenship was extended to those of African origin”. This source continues by giving factual statements about immigration laws and how they were developed in the following years. It elaborates on more laws being passed focusing on refugees. Questions posed from this article wondering if all immigration should result in deportation. Should some immigrants be given the chance to explain themselves before any legal action is taken towards them. A weakness to this source is that the author could have given their own opinion on how immigration could be handled. This could allow for other questionable areas to be debated on. A strength to this article is that the author did touch on all areas to best answer any questions about the history behind immigration laws and where they started comparing them to where they are now. Additional questions that can be asked are again, should immigration be looked at in a different light?

Speaking of a crisis, to put terms in a different standpoint, such things as national emergencies come into play. A national emergency is not something that should be treated lightly. This type of declaration cannot be taken unconscientiously, due to the fact that if it is declared, it cannot just go away. “National emergencies allow presidents to set aside many of the limits on their authority” (Mueller, 2019). This source gives background knowledge and facts on how President Trump is attempting to declare a National Emergency but is simply making a Racist Political Stunt.

This source is helpful in that it gives information on how national emergencies can be threatening and dangerous. This article in particular gives evidence on how President Trump is trying to create national emergencies through immigration. In regard to the government shutdown, the building of the wall is what Trump is attempting to fund. “Thankfully, the United States Constitution does not give the president emergency powers, and it has no clause that allows the president to suspend the Constitution when he perceives an emergency” (as cited in Mueller, 2019). This article continues providing evidence on past national emergencies. An example of this would be the terrorist attack on 9/11.

President Bush had declared this a national emergency, and rightfully so. According to Mueller, in 2015 another national emergency was declared by President Obama. This was in response to the cyber-attacks that came from foreign nations. Strengths presented from this article are shown through the use of President Trump’s ideas and manifestations. The article does a tremendous job articulating that he is trying to propose a national emergency that does not necessarily deem to be a crisis. This article does not pose any weaknesses within the facts however, could provide more information on what and who does constitute a national emergency.

Upon researching and identifying national emergencies, a curiosity one might have is when can a president technically declare a national emergency. This source touches on every aspect of a national emergency. For starters “A national emergency is a national crisis or a situation where circumstances threaten the country and call for an immediate response” (Trimble, 2019). In order to be able to justify a national emergency, existing law has to be in play. According to Trimble, the National Emergencies Act of 1976, is what allows the executive branch to declare a national emergency. However, the president must cite specific powers that are being activated in order to make the declaration.

Congress does have the ability to overrule the president’s use of the act. In past declarations, there have been presidents who declared national emergencies. Once again, referring to President Trump’s idea of proposing a wall raises the question of can a national emergency unlock its funding. According to this source written by Megan Trimble, the president can propose this declaration, however, he must cite an emergency power in the law to be able to move the funds in order to actually build the wall. Strengths to this article is the curiosity every individual may have. Can President Trump potentially point out a law and get those funds needed to build the wall. However, a weakness to this article that is noticed in other articles, is opinions based off of the author. Is this wall actually necessary and if those funds are unlocked, will they be worth it?

National emergencies can potentially be something that the public may not be aware of until it is worldly known and released. The most recent national emergency and crisis that is potentially proposed is the building of the wall and even the government shutdown. It seems as if there are people who are getting laid off and having to work while not getting paid, can be deemed as an emergency rather than a necessity. According to this source, 31 national emergencies have actually been in effect for years. “According to the Federal Register, 58 national emergencies have been declared since the National Emergency Act of 1976 was signed into law by President Gerald Ford” .

This source identifies the date and year of each national emergency that was declared by each president that declared the crisis. Examples consist of the 1979 Iran hostage crisis, 2001 emergency with respect to export control regulations since the Export Administration act of 1979 lapsed, and the 2017 national emergency with the blocking of property of persons that were involved in the serious human rights abuse. (Heath, 2019). This source gave great examples of national emergencies that were declared, however a great weakness of this article was that it strictly did not give any factual information. It gave the date, and year, and what the national emergency was. This weakness did not give any other factual information concerning the history of a national emergency or what constitutes as a national emergency. The author should have provided way more detail on national emergencies.

Updated: Jan 30, 2024
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Understanding Government Shutdowns, Immigration Policies, and National Emergencies in the U.S.. (2024, Jan 30). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/understanding-government-shutdowns-immigration-policies-and-national-emergencies-in-the-u-s-essay

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