Why has Trump shut down our government?

To the Editor:
Since Mexico is not paying for Trump’s wall and the GOP wants us to pay for it, what exactly can we expect to receive for this $5 billion in American taxpayer money? The Department of Homeland Security estimates that it will cost $21.6 billion to build a wall where none exists.
It costs roughly $17 million to build a mile of wall. The entire length of the U.S.-Mexico border is 1,933 miles. Take out your calculator. To build a brand-new wall designed to Trump’s taste along the entire length will cost at least $32.8 billion. At best, Trump’s request of $5 billion can only fund 294 miles of wall. Unless the entire wall is built, it does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that it can be easily circumvented.
So, why exactly has Trump shut down our government? Why is he driving hundreds of thousands of federal employees into financial ruin? For part of a wall that most experts believe is an outdated response to a 21st-century issue? Tell your representatives on Capitol Hill to reopen the government and start negotiating for genuine comprehensive immigration reform.
Nancy Schoenleber
Milford, Pa.