Federally employed Indian Health Service workers, such as ones in Chinle, Whiteriver and Phoenix, not involved in direct patient care, have been furloughed. They are at home, not getting paid. Those involved in direct patient care, are mandated to work without pay. Border Patrol Agents are also working, but not being compensated.
Most Federal Park workers are furloughed, save the Grand Canyon employees as the State of Arizona has kept the park open. Bureau of Prison employees are also not being paid though many are considered essential and thus are working without pay as well. Transportation Security Administration or TSA staff are mostly working without pay, though there are some whose job it is to inspect the airplanes that have been furloughed.
These are just a few examples of the federal employees in Arizona that are not being paid. In the country, there are approximately 800,000 federal workers in the same boat.
According to NPR today, 1/7/19, there are an additional 4.1 million federal contractors that are now unemployed as well. This group is in a very difficult situation as unlike the direct hire federal workers who will most likely get paid after the shutdown ends, these contractors will never be compensated for their lost wages.
The callus nature in which President Trump states that this shutdown could endure for months is unacceptable. He has not expressed one bit of empathy for these workers. His claim that a physical barrier is necessary at the southern border of the United States of America to protect its citizens is blatantly false. Modern technology needs to be expanded to prevent the entrance of unauthorized people into our country, not a wall.
The victims of this government impasse are the federal worker and the federal contractor. My wife and brother in-law fall into each category, respectively. This shutdown is unnecessary and reveals a lack of sensitivity and leadership from the White House.
As President Trump said over a week before the impasse began, “I’ll own this shutdown.” You do, Mr. President. You do.