President Donald Trump has a message for federal workers who once again won’t receive their paychecks Friday: Some people have more pain than you.
Speaking to reporters Thursday as he headed to the border, the president responded to a reporter’s question about the “human pain” that has resulted from the government shutdown, now in its 20th day.
"You know has more human pain? The parents of people who had children killed by an illegal immigrant that should have never been in the country. Do you know who has more pain? The husband that lost the wife or the wife that lost the husband killed by an illegal immigrant who came in five or six times who shouldn’t be here. That’s the human pain.”
It’s a common but dubious talking point of Trump’s: that undocumented immigrants are frequent perpetrators of violence against American-born citizens, and that’s why he needs more than $5 billion to construct a wall along the southern U.S. border to keep them out. In reality, undocumented people are far less likely to commit crimes than U.S.-born citizens, research shows.
The request for that money catalyzed a government shutdown, affecting about 800,000 federal workers, when Democrats wouldn’t put wall funding in the budget. More than half of those workers have been forced to work without pay, and Trump has shown no signs of budging on his demand for border-wall funding despite lacking the support from Congress.
Trump did, however, show some sympathy for the world’s richest man, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. Asked about Bezos’ recently announced divorce, Trump said: “I wish him luck. It’s going to be a beauty.”
Cover image: President Donald Trump gestures as a reporter asks a question, as he speaks to the media on the South Lawn of the White House, Thursday Jan. 10, 2019, in Washington, en route for a trip to the border in Texas as the government shutdown continues. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)