By Nicole Fernandez | Staff Writer
Since the start of his presidency, President Trump has made his certainty that his border wall will be built clear to the world. Despite his lack of support from both the Democrats and Republicans, Trump and his allies have continued to fight.
In December of last year, a GoFundMe campaign was created to earn $1 billion for the wall. Within one month, the fundraiser, called We The People Will Build The Wall, raised over $20 million from around 300,000 donors. The campaign made headlines when it was first set up; one anonymous person submitted $5,000 in a single donation.
On campus, most students are aware of the wall. Over the course of two weeks I interviewed over a dozen students of different ages and backgrounds for their opinion on it. Every single one of them knew about it and were against it. A few vehemently. One third-year student, who asked to remain anonymous, said that though he is a supporter of Trump and his anti-immigration views, he does “think the wall idea is stupid and s***** and it’s not going to work.”
Another student, who also asked to not disclose their name, had some suggestions for Trump about what he could do with the funding.
“Pay for my tuition,” the student said. “He could make university free, pretty much. End poverty. There’s a lot of possibilities … lot of good he can do with all that cash.”
While it may be hard to find a supporter at KCC, there’s no doubt Trump does have a passionate group of supporters. The GoFundMe is proof of their existence. In an NPR article, a reporter took a trip to the southern area of the mainland to meet some of these men and women. They have dealt firsthand with border-crossers and consider the wall a perfect deterrent.
In the article, Andres Montemayor, a retired police officer from Texas, revealed he is wholeheartedly for the wall.
“I think we need protection on the border,” he told NPR. “You know why? Because our law enforcement are too undermanned.”
These people are willing to have a physical barrier between them and the rest of the Americas, but the opposition in the government is fierce. The latest government shutdown, which has the record of the longest lasting shutdown in the U.S., was a result of the conflict between the president and the Democrats. According to Trump, they are to blame for the prevention of his wall, so therefore, it is their fault the government closed down.
After announcing the start of the shutdown in December, he tweeted, “I am all alone (poor me) in the White House waiting for the Democrats to come back and make a deal on desperately needed Border Security. At some point the Democrats not wanting to make a deal will cost our Country more money than the Border Wall we are all talking about. Crazy!”
During the 2018 primary elections, almost 250,00 out of a total of 741,007 people in Hawaiʻi registered as Democrats. Only 32,587 registered as Republican, the rest choosing other parties. There’s no study on Hawaiʻi local’s feelings about the border wall, or the ensuing shutdown, but in a blue donkey dominated state, consensus is likely similar to what I found at KCC.
Senator Mazie K. Hirono said, “This shutdown is totally unfair, completely unnecessary, and entirely the President’s fault. Donald Trump needs to face the reality that he won’t get $5 billion for his wall and accept responsibility for keeping the government running.”
The wall is a controversial subject nationwide. From my interviews around campus, the opinion completely leaned towards negative. I was unable to find one person who was for it. Even an actual Trump supporter agreed that building a wall across the country was not a plausible solution to illegal immigration.
One first year student, who requested anonymity, too, stated, “The wall is f****** stupid. [Trump] doesn’t know what he’s doing.”