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A government shutdown. A border wall. Political impasse. America is the loser as the important issues of illegal immigration are being framed more and more as Democrats vs. Donald Trump.

The president is standing firm on the money he wants to build a border barrier between the United States and Mexico. Democrats call the barrier a wall to counter Trump’s longstanding call for a “wall,” even though he has said securing the border -- with a steel barrier or fencing -- is the bottom line.

New House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says there will be no money appropriated for a barrier. “A wall is an immorality. It’s not who we are as a nation,” she said this past week.

Does that mean entirely open borders and tearing down walls that are already in existence? It appears that if either or both would be negative for Trump, those would be the positions.

Let’s not forget an old proverb: “Good fences make good neighbors.” It is so prevalent a position in different cultures that its origin is difficult to pinpoint.

The president is right about stopping illegal immigration. The laws of the nation support him. A border barrier is just one tool.

The argument by Democrats about technology are disingenuous. They know an improved barrier is a sound approach to complement other methods of control. They just won't do anything Trump wants, with too many busy talking impeachment instead.

The nation is asking, “Which is more important: hatred of Trump or passing legislation that can be made into law?"

In the end there will have to be compromise. Shutting down government functions can only go on so long as Trump and Democrats hold fast to their respective positions with the country caught in the middle.

The compromise should be Democrats and Republicans working together to fund the money to proceed with a border wall and using other dollars for various other methods of stopping illegal immigration. But there must be progress on barriers.

Then if Congress really wants to achieve something rather than partisan gridlock, it should get down to business on real immigration law reform that deals with key issues from illegals to guest workers -- and get firmly behind enforcing the law.

As Trump has correctly stated: A country without borders is not a country.

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