A U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer walks along a wall at the border between Mexico and the United States, as seen from San Diego on Nov. 25, 2018. (Greg Bull/AP)

Regarding the Nov. 30 news article “Democrats rebuff new GOP plan to pay for border wall” :

Shutting down the U.S. government temporarily to stop the wall is the least leaders can do to prevent permanently shutting down an entire way of life. Sixty-five miles of the U.S.-Mexico border bisects the Tohono O’odham Nation, where I’ve lived my entire life, raised my children and co-founded Indivisible Tohono in response to President Trump, whose policies pose an existential threat to our nation. We are the original caretakers of this land, and our connection to it is profound. For hundreds of years predating European arrival, the men of our nation have performed the Salt Pilgrimage. Beginning on the U.S. side of our nation, these men run on foot for weeks to a remote location on the Mexico side, returning with the sacred salt used to preserve the meat we’ve hunted for millennia. The border wall stands to ruin this, the collection of medicinal plants and many hunting ceremonies that rely on land traversing the U.S.-Mexico border, not to mention its impact on animal migration.

We have always known who threatens our nation, and it has never been a refugee at the border.

April Hiosik Ignacio, Tohono O'odham