WASHINGTON, D.C. — As the federal government shutdown moves through its third week, the collateral damage of the budget impasse is intensifying for millions of Americans.
The following is a statement from Ali Noorani, Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum:
“As we near the end of the third week of the partial shutdown of the federal government, business owners, workers and family members face a growing financial crisis. Reports of business owners cutting back, parents being unable to pay for child care, and worries about mortgage and rent payments after this week’s missed paycheck are adding up.
“Ironically, President Trump’s demand for a symbol of border security is driving us toward a real national security crisis. As the shutdown continues, the strain on TSA agents, Border Patrol and others on the frontlines ensuring our nation’s safety is worsening. At the same time, the alleged ‘crisis’ that necessitates a border wall remains elusive: Border apprehensions remain significantly lower than in decades past, and only six immigrants in federal terrorism databases were stopped by border officials in the first half of fiscal year 2018.
“If there is a ‘crisis’ at our border, it’s a humanitarian one that demands smart solutions, not physical barriers. Solutions to address the humanitarian crisis the administration has caused at the border include improving the economic situation in Central America, reinstating the Central American Minors refugee program, improving infrastructure at ports of entry, improving asylum processing capacity at the border, and ensuring migrants have access to medical services.
“But a deal to end the shutdown is within reach: Pair smart border security with solutions for the more than 1 million immigrants working and studying legally with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or Temporary Protected Status. This solution can garner bipartisan support and end the Trump crisis.
“Neither federal employees nor DACA and TPS recipients should be living in this kind of limbo.”