The United States government has been shut down for several weeks now. Close to one million federal employees have been negatively affected by the consequences of the shut down. Unfortunately, those negative consequences extend far beyond federal employees. Millions of honest, hardworking citizens, who are the backbone of this country are also feeling the consequences. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Parks and Museums, Law Enforcement and the judiciary, Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and disbursement of federal grants and small business loans are only some of the programs that are being affected, which in turn affect the citizens of this “great nation”.
The shut down of the United States Federal Government is disingenuous on so many fronts. Consider the following: (1) Trump ordered the shut down purportedly because he wants funding for a border wall to control illegal immigration; (2) because of the shut down, the e-verify system that is utilized to verify foreign nationals’ right to work in the U.S. is inoperable; and (3) Federal immigration courts are closed, thus because of the shut down, immigrants’ constitutional right to due process under the law is suspended as well as the government’s ability to determine the legal right of immigrants to remain in the U.S. These are just a few ironic repercussions of Trump’s disingenuous government shut down. If this were not so serious, one could describe it as a “comedy of the absurd” or a “comedy of errors”. Comedy aside, the shut down is absurd and fraught with errors.
It is premature to say when the shutdown will conclude. It is premature to say when millions of federal employees may resume work, may receive compensation, and more important, may be able to feed their families. As U.S. citizens, especially citizens of color, we deserve so much more from our government starting with social equity and representative democracy. Stand up America!