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Negotiating on border security doesn’t require a government shutdown

Negotiating on border security doesn’t require a government shutdown
Furloughed workers wait in line to receive food and supplies from World Central Kitchen in Washington on Jan. 22, 2019. (Andrew Harnik / Associated Press)

To the editor: The shutdown is not about winning, losing or scoring points. When government shuts down, even partially, all of America is harmed. Government needs to be open, and negotiating complex issues during the shutdown is irresponsible.

First, end the shutdown.

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Second, resolve the current budget impasse over a border wall with bipartisanship. Call it “Smart Wall” legislation.

Republicans and Democrats agree that border security is important. We need a set of bills to reunite children with their families; increase the number of judges and other administrative personnel to relieve the backlog of immigration cases; deploy technology to monitor the border; address the citizenship concerns of the “Dreamers”; fund programs for Central American nations to fix the problems causing people to flee — and repair and build a physical barrier where it makes sense.

This is a complex issue that deserves effort and compromise by all lawmakers.

Leslie Ball, Santa Monica

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To the editor: A border wall is a symbol of failure. It’s a desperate measure to be considered only when all other options have failed.

Are we there yet? Have we attempted to address the problems that cause people to want to leave their homes? What about our compassion (or lack thereof) for those whose circumstances are so dire that they would surrender everything to escape?

Have we considered possible places for immigrants to settle where their contributions are most needed? Have we thought over whether immigrants truly threaten our own well-being significantly enough to warrant taking billions of dollars from our budget to spend on a wall to keep them out?

Joan Riback, Altadena

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To the editor: The length of this government shutdown has become ridiculous.

I hope that Transportation Security Administration employees will announce soon that they plan on walking off the job if the shutdown does not end soon. That would halt commercial air travel in this country and seriously affect it around the world.

I strongly believe that the shutdown would end in less than an hour if this strike were announced.

Mike Reardon, Fallbrook

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