WASHINGTON, D.C.—People For the American Way (PFAW) today issued the following statement from PFAW President Michael Keegan in response to Trump’s speech about the U.S./Mexico border.
“Since December 22, Donald Trump and the GOP Senate have inflicted extreme stress not just on roughly 800,000 federal workers all across the country who will miss paychecks on Friday if the president fails to drop his bigoted, childish con demanding a wall on the southern border paid for by the American people. They’ve also punished every American who looks to the federal government to perform its most basic functions, from picking up trash in federal parks to providing critical medical services in Native American communities.
“The shutdown and the situation at the border are messes entirely of Trump’s and the Republicans’ creation. The administration shut down legitimate, legal asylum claims at the border and instituted intentionally cruel measures to separate children from their parents at a time of historically low unauthorized border crossings. Trump and his Republican enablers have held the entire country hostage by refusing to pass budget bills to open the government until their demands for a farcical border wall are met. Trump even affirmatively took the blame for the shutdown during his White House meeting with Democratic Leaders Pelosi and Schumer in December. He said he was proud to do so. There’s nothing to be proud of when it comes to putting federal workers and their families through such extreme anxiety and hardship.
“The Trump administration has repeatedly humiliated itself this week by trying to manufacture bogus statistics about immigration and national security—an attempt so brazen that even FOX News hosts refused to go along with it. None of the president’s lies have been able to generate meaningful public support for his bigoted demands, with only 25 percent agreeing with his reckless, bigoted efforts to build a wall.
“Nothing the president said tonight will put food on the table or pay the rent for the eight hundred thousand Americans and their families about to miss their federal paychecks. Nothing he said will help Americans who count on the government to do its job. Trump created this mess and has been enabled by the GOP Senate every step of the way.
“Enough. Trump must drop his ignorant and ridiculous demands for a border wall and get our federal workers back to work—with pay.”