Both sides must compromise to end the longest shutdown in our history

Both sides must compromise to end the longest shutdown in our history
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As we enter the fourth week of what is now the longest shutdown in United States history, its impact is hitting home for more Americans. People are working without paychecks and key agencies have stopped functioning, all while President TrumpDonald John TrumpGillibrand backs federal classification of third gender: report Former Carter pollster, Bannon ally Patrick Caddell dies at 68 Heather Nauert withdraws her name from consideration for UN Ambassador job MORE and the Democrats remain in a standoff over his unrelenting demand for $5 billion to build a border wall.

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It is clear that his plan is not working. Even key Republicans are growing increasingly frustrated with his lack of will to compromise. “I think we’re stuck. I just don’t see a pathway forward. I don’t see a way forward,” said Senator Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamPence met with silence after mentioning Trump in Munich speech The Memo: Trump and McCabe go to war Graham seeks new Rosenstein testimony after explosive McCabe interview MORE, who had been leading the effort to end the impasse over the shutdown. “I have never been more depressed about moving forward than I am right now,” he remarked days ago.

Beginning with his Oval Office address last week, President Trump and his administration have carefully orchestrated for the dialogue to be about a “national emergency” at the southern border, thus turning the entire political conversation to immigration and the need to build a wall. Will his plan work? It seems unlikely. But then again, his election was unlikely.

I continue to believe that the Democrats should offer a compromise for border security, not necessarily on the wall, but on enhanced border security in exchange for protections for Dreamers and the 11 million undocumented immigrants who currently live in the country. Ultimately, both sides continue to look foolish, with President Trump more foolish than the Democrats, and it is going to get worse before it gets better.

Following the Oval Office address last week, House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiNational emergency declaration — a legal fight Trump is likely to win Congress allows Violence Against Women Act to lapse High stakes as Trump, Dems open drug price talks MORE and Senate Minority Leader Chuck SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerNational emergency declaration — a legal fight Trump is likely to win House Judiciary Dems seek answers over Trump's national emergency declaration Mandatory E-Verify: The other border wall MORE addressed the nation in response to President Trump. One thing that remained clear following both statements is that neither the White House nor Democrats in Congress are willing to budge in their negotiations. Speaker Pelosi and Minority Leader Schumer pushed back on the transparent attempts to change the national conversation by saying in their statement that President Trump is trying to govern through “fear” rather than “fact.”

The need to open the government is clear, and the need for bipartisan compromise is greater than ever. The longer this shutdown continues, the weaker our government will be, the weaker our economy will be, and the worse off Americans across the nation will be. Indeed, compromise is possible. In 2017, Senate Minority Leader Schumer worked with President Trump and Republicans in Congress in order to find an agreement that would have given legal protections to recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals in exchange for funding for additional border security.

This kind of deal makes sense, and I strongly urge both Republicans and Democrats to come to the table to find a solution like this once again. While it is clear that both sides are being stubborn and disagreeable, it is also clear that both parties have legitimate, pressing concerns that need to be addressed. The 11 million undocumented people in our country contribute to society, lift our economy, pay taxes, and have families. It is time that Congress pass bipartisan legislation that pulls these people out of the shadows and affords them the opportunity to become citizens.

However, there are serious deficiencies with our border security. While a wall is not necessary along our entire southern border, our border agents need more resources and funding for advanced technology to assist them in apprehending those attempting to cross over illegally. This will not be an easy debate, nor will this legislation be perfect. But these issues will not be properly addressed while the government is closed, and the only thing this shutdown is doing is hurting Americans and federal agencies.

I implore President Trump to end the shutdown on the condition that immigration reform will be a top priority for the new Congress so that both sides may work together to come up with the best solution to the pressing problems we face. Regrettably, in the midst of the longest shutdown in our history, such compromise seems far fetched at best.

Douglas E. Schoen (@DouglasESchoen) served as a pollster for President Clinton. A longtime political consultant, he is also a Fox News contributor and the author of 11 books, including “Putin’s Master Plan: To Destroy Europe, Divide NATO, and Restore Russian Power and Global Influence.”