AFGE Local 1260 Members,
In the news recently, we have heard there is a crisis at the border and as a result, the Government must be shut down until such crisis is resolved. In today's world, our current economic, social, and environmental injustices warrant a true cry for a national crisis--and yet no alarm has been sounded! When the top earners in the U.S., be they corporations or individuals (no, they are not the same!), are taken better care than our Veterans, teachers, nurses, public sector workers, and homeless population--there is, undoubtedly, a crisis which needs immediate and unequivocal addressing.
Currently, we are undergoing a legitimate crisis. The Federal Government is partially shutdown and the affected Federal employees--working without pay or furloughed at home without pay--are completely financially shutdown. To be clear, this crisis is not based on the need to keep immigrants out--our country was built on a nation of immigrants. If you are not an immigrant yourself, you descend from immigrants who came into this country at some point. Unless you are a Native American, who are the true inhabitants of this great country we all love, then you are an immigrant. The Natives did not war with or attempt to remove these immigrants from their land; instead they invited, fed, traded, and welcomed them.
This perceived crisis is not about a wall or the need to keep out criminals or terrorists, it is about divisiveness, an agenda, and its author is detached from reality. Right now, in real-time there is a crisis of inmates in our federal prison system mocking Correctional Officers who are not being paid--adding unnecessary stress to their already dangerous job; Transportation Security Officers at airports working without pay--preventing real terrorists--not mothers, children, and families fleeing awful conditions--from entering this country through one of most constant breached means of travel--the airways; Food Inspectors not able to properly inspect our nations foods for hazards; overworked Air Traffic Controllers who direct our skies in highly-stressful situations, now worried about their mortgages, car payments, child care, bills, food . . . and the list goes on. This is the real crisis--the real national emergency.
Our members are not rich, they do not possess disposable incomes at their fingertips--many live paycheck-to-paycheck in this rigged economy; and those who had savings, are depleting them. Many of our members are saddled with new debts they did not anticipate, like late car payment fees, interest on credit cards they otherwise would not have used, loans they are taking out that would not have been except for this shutdown, and not to mention the holiday season debt incurred--remember, we've been in a shutdown--lockout--since December 22nd, 2018.
The real crisis is the impact on safety for the American people when our highly-trained, highly-skilled Officers must choose between putting food on the table and keeping a roof over the heads of their families or staying "employed" with the U.S. Government, who has seemingly used them like political pawns in this game of bureaucrats and political elite who don't have a clue about everyday Americans, like us.