The Examiner

Student Perspectives on the Border Wall

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Caelan Fraschetti

More stories from Caelan Fraschetti

Prototypes+designed+for+the+new+US-Mexico+border+wall.+Photo+by+CBP+Photography.
Back to Article
Back to Article

Student Perspectives on the Border Wall

Prototypes designed for the new US-Mexico border wall. Photo by CBP Photography.

Prototypes designed for the new US-Mexico border wall. Photo by CBP Photography.

Prototypes designed for the new US-Mexico border wall. Photo by CBP Photography.

Prototypes designed for the new US-Mexico border wall. Photo by CBP Photography.

On January 25th, President Trump signed a short-term bill, allowing for the reopening of the government through February 15. This ceasefire provides Congress and the President with time to put together a new bill and allows for the payment of government employees who have gone weeks without a check. The recent United States government shutdown lasted 35 days. This shutdown resulted from a disagreement between the current administration under President Donald Trump and the Democratic Party over the construction of the U.S.-Mexico border wall. President Trump promised the construction of a wall during his 2016 campaign, and it has been a point of contention since he assumed office.

Back in February of 2018, a proposal with a $25 billion trust fund for border security was present. In exchange, the proposed bill include DACA assurances including that Dreamers, undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children, would be provided legalized citizenship. The bill was shot down in a 54-45 vote.

The two proposals that were up for consideration in Congress to reopen the government included the Republican plan which sought to reopen the government through

Photo by Associated Press.

September, and fund the $5.7 billion the White House required for construction of the wall, and the Democratic plan which was to reopen the government through February 8, allowing time for further negotiations, while allowing government employees to be paid. As anticipated by numerous government officials and news agencies, neither bill was passed.

Clearly, our Senators, Representatives, and the White House are not willing to compromise on their positions. The American people, in particular, the “non-essential” government workers, suffered as a result.

Like Congress, our student body holds divided opinions on how the border wall should be handled. Alexander Hunter, a Senior at Xavier and first-generation U.S. citizen, is an advocate for construction of the wall. Hunter stated, “The U.S. government has the right to control who comes into the country, especially people who do so against our laws.” This is the position taken by many in support of the wall. However, Hunter also commented,“The moral argument that many of the illegal immigrants are seeking a better life is right, but does not supersede our sovereignty in principle or practice.” This viewpoint affirms the belief that immigrants deserve a chance at a better life, but also that the United States needs to control the flow of immigration. In his final comments, Hunter said, “Any meaningful immigration policy that seeks to give a humanitarian hand to immigrants would come second to securing our border.”

Andrea Younes is a Senior at Xavier, president of the United We Stand social justice club, and also a first-generation U.S. citizen.

Protestors against the construction of the border wall, St. Louis Immigration Rally, Feb. 4, 2017. Photo by Creative Commons.

Unlike Hunter, Younes is completely opposed to the concept of a border wall. She commented that it is “…not only inhumane, but un-American to decide that a certain population of people are unwelcome in this country.” Younes believes that by building physical barriers, we are promoting the concept of exclusion. This does not mean that Younes is against the implementation of a new immigration policy. Andrea stated that “The current administration has not had much experience with immigration, so they opt to use physical barriers and the concept of keeping out immigrants, both documented and non, as their answer to a lack of sufficient policy.”

Hugh Sun, an international student from China and Senior at Xavier, also does not agree with the construction of the wall. Sun said, “I don’t think it is going to help the situation, and if people really want to come over, a wall is not going to stop them.” He believes that the wall itself “…stands for exclusivity and separation between people. It is a symbol that people can’t fully understand each other.”

Although these testimonies seem polarizing at first glance, they all share one very important commonality. When asked if given the opportunity to speak to the leaders of our government, what message would they want to convey. Alex Hunter responded by saying “I would characterize and condemn the strong influence of pathos that circumvents reasoning, dividing the people and the government that represents them.” Andrea Younes would “Ask them to treat the running of this country less as a competition between one another and more for the holistic good of its people.” Finally, Hugh Sun stated “This country is more divided than ever with heated debates and arguments. I really wish we could understand each other and make compromises.”

To the left lies San Diego, California and on the right is Tijuana, Baja California.

They all have very different opinions as to how this issue should be handled, but the common understanding is that our country is divided. The only way that the threat of future shutdowns ends is if our United States Congressmen and women and the White House can recognize and reconcile the division for the good of the people.

It is necessary for Xavier students to discuss such vital issues as the border wall, no matter how uncomfortable the conversations may get. If we can not listen to one another and respectfully discuss our opinions, whether we agree or not, then compromise will always be unattainable.

As of now, it is unclear whether a new shutdown will be imposed. In modern times this last shutdown of 35 days was the longest with previous records including two full shutdowns lasting five days in 1995 and 21 days in 1996 under the administration of President Bill Clinton. In the coming days, it is the hope of many that an agreement can be made, and that this divisive conflict between President Trump and Congress will come to a close. Until then, we can only pray that our current administration will do what is best for the interests of the American people.

Works Cited:

  • Associated Press. “Splintered Senate Fails to Pass Opposing Bills to End Government Shutdown.” Fox 5, 24 Jan. 2019, www.fox5dc.com/news/republican-plan-to-end-shutdown-fails-in-senate.
  • DeBonis, Mike, and Kevin Uhrmacher. “What’s in the Competing Proposals to Reopen the Government – and What’s Not.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 24 Jan. 2019, www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2019/politics/shutdown-border-funding-proposals/?utm_term=.12abe9e00dd4.
  • “Everything You Need to Know about the Government Shutdown.” The Washington Post, WP Company, www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2018/politics/government-shutdown-faq/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.0ea2e3999876.
  • “Government Shutdowns in the United States.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 23 Jan. 2019, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Government_shutdowns_in_the_United_States.
  • Hunter, Alex. Personal Interview. 23 January 2019.
  • O’Keefe, Ed, et al. “Immigration Bills Fail in Congress, Leaving ‘Dreamers’ in Limbo.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 15 Feb. 2018, www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/as-immigration-showdown-looms-in-senate-trump-administration-is-doing-everything-in-our-power-to-stop-bipartisan-plan-official-says/2018/02/15/e0cff9d0-1260-11e8-8ea1-c1d91fcec3fe_story.html?utm_term=.a1e314ec636c.
  • Sun, Hugh. Personal Interview. 23 January 2019.
  • Younes, Andrea. Personal Interview. 24 January 2019.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
About the Writer
Caelan Fraschetti, Writer

I am a senior at Xavier this year. I enjoy ceramics and writing. My favorite place in the world is the Trevi Fountain in Rome, Italy. I have two younger...

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Left
  • Student Perspectives on the Border Wall

    2018-19 Archives

    WINTER FORMAL SPIRIT WEEK #2

  • Student Perspectives on the Border Wall

    2018-19 Archives

    Extra Extra! Extra-terrestrials?

  • Student Perspectives on the Border Wall

    2018-19 Archives

    Xavier Saint Adds Art to the Palm Desert Civic Park

  • Student Perspectives on the Border Wall

    2018-19 Archives

    Coachella Time!

  • Student Perspectives on the Border Wall

    2018-19 Archives

    Verbum Dei: Solidarity through Service

  • Student Perspectives on the Border Wall

    2018-19 Archives

    Senior Winter Sports: Final Season

  • Student Perspectives on the Border Wall

    2018-19 Archives

    Would You Believe Me?

  • Student Perspectives on the Border Wall

    2018-19 Archives

    Battle for the Crown of Cook Street

  • Student Perspectives on the Border Wall

    2018-19 Archives

    College Acceptances and Commitments

  • Student Perspectives on the Border Wall

    2018-19 Archives

    The Instagram Book Exchange

Navigate Right
The student news site of Xavier College Preparatory High School
Student Perspectives on the Border Wall