Tue | Jan 22, 2019

Trump closer to declaring emergency, 800,000 workers won’t get paid

Published:Friday | January 11, 2019 | 9:07 AM
AP photo

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is edging closer to declaring a national emergency to fund his long-promised border wall, as pressure mounts to find an escape hatch from the three-week impasse that has closed parts of the government, leaving hundreds of thousands of workers without pay.

Some 800,000 workers, more than half of them still on the job, were to miss their first pay check on Friday under the stoppage, and Washington was close to setting a dubious record for the longest government shutdown in the nation’s history.

Those markers — along with growing effects to national parks, food inspections and the economy overall — left some Republicans on Capitol Hill increasingly uncomfortable with Trump’s demands.

Asked about the plight of those going without pay, the president shifted the focus, saying he felt bad “for people that have family members that have been killed” by criminals who came over the border.

Trump visited McAllen, Texas, and the Rio Grande on Thursday to highlight what he calls a crisis of drugs and crime.

He said that “if for any reason we don’t get this going” — an agreement with House Democrats who have refused to approve the $5.7 billion he demands for the wall — “I will declare a national emergency.”

There is no evidence of an immigrant crime wave, though.

Multiple studies from social scientists and the libertarian think tank Cato Institute have found that people in the U.S. illegally are less likely to commit crime than U.S. citizens are and that those in the country legally are even less likely to do so.

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