Trump Takes Government Workers Hostage to Demand Border Wall Funding

Interview with Catherine Tactaquin, executive director of the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, conducted by Scott Harris

With the partial government shutdown entering its third week, pressure is growing in Washington for a resolution of the political battle over President Trump’s demand for more than $5 billion from Congress to build his wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.  While both the newly Democratic-controlled House of Representatives and GOP-controlled Senate had approved continuing budget resolutions to reopen the nine federal departments closed down, the president has refused to end the shutdown until Congress meets his demands.The shutdown affects more than 800,000 federal workers in the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Justice, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, State, Transportation and the Treasury.  Many of these workers have been furloughed, while others deemed essential must work without pay. Ironically, the shutdown has weakened staffing of the Transportation Security Administration, which enforces security at the nation’s airports.In the misleading primetime address to the nation on Jan. 8, Trump argued that the U.S. faces a national security crisis on the U.S. southern border that must be addressed by building the wall he pledged would be paid for by Mexico. Between The Lines’ Scott Harris spoke with Catherine Tactaquin, executive director of the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights. Here, she discusses Trump’s attack on immigrants, the forced separation of families and the current shutdown as she challenges the assertion that a crisis exists on the U.S. Mexico border.Listen to/read the interview here: