Fox News’ Ainsley Earhardt on Wednesday downplayed the government shutdown’s impact on Americans, calling it a mere “inconvenience.” Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of federal employees have been left without pay for nearly two weeks.
During Wednesday’s “Fox & Friends,” co-host Brian Kilmeade lamented the continued closure of national parks and museums caused by the partial government shutdown as it headed into its 12th day.
But Earhardt suggested the shutdown is a small price to pay because President Donald Trump just wants Americans to be safe.
“It is an inconvenience, yes,” Earhardt told her co-hosts. “But the president is saying, ‘Most [immigrants] are good people, but there are some bad apples in the group.’”
She continued, “And even though it is an inconvenience, he’s saying that your safety and your security as an American ― he said you deserve to be able to go to sleep at night and not have to worry about being killed by an illegal immigrant. And we’ve seen that happen.”
Studies show undocumented immigrants commit less crime than native-born citizens. In fact, states with more undocumented immigrants have lower crime rates than states with fewer of them.
Though Earhardt can apparently carry on as usual during the shutdown, many of her viewers may not be so lucky. Hundreds of thousands of federal workers have been furloughed or continue to work without pay if the government deems their job essential.
Though federal employees will receive retroactive pay after Congress and Trump reach an agreement on a spending bill, government contractors will likely never get back pay.
In any case, retroactive pay won’t prevent some federal workers from missing rent or mortgage payments during a prolonged shutdown.
“Most of us live paycheck to paycheck and cannot afford to be unpaid and still go to work for long. It is not fair,” a Transportation Security Administration employee told HuffPost.
Without staffing, national parks like Yosemite in California and Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado are being overwhelmed with trash and vandalism. On Wednesday, the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., announced it had run out of funding to keep the National Zoo and its museums open.
The latest shutdown, one of three in 2018, has some federal workers worrying this could become the new norm.
This story has been updated with additional detail about the shutdown.
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