U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján and Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham issued statements this morning in seperate press releases in response to the address to the nation by President Donald Trump Tuesday night, the 18th day of the government shutdown.
U.S. Sen. Tom Udall:
WASHINGTON, D.C. – “President Trump needs to end his shutdown now, before his reckless tantrum hurts more New Mexico families. New Mexicans didn’t hear anything new tonight from the president. Instead, they just heard more fear-mongering about immigrants, and dishonest and out-of-touch talk about the border from a president who doesn’t know the first thing about border communities. The president certainly did not provide struggling New Mexicans with any good reason for why he continues to hold their livelihoods hostage to try and force taxpayers to pay for his offensive border wall. At the very least, the president could have apologized to the innocent people who have been caught up in his mess – but he didn’t do that either.
“Eighteen days into this Trump shutdown, families all across New Mexico are paying a steep price for the president’s act of political extortion. Over 5,800 workers in New Mexico are furloughed or working without pay, many of them wondering how they’ll make their next mortgage or rent payment. Lives in Tribal communities are being endangered as critical public health and public safety programs grind to a halt. Many of our most iconic national parks remain closed or badly neglected – as waste and garbage pile up – threatening not just these special places but also the economies that depend on them. These are the real and devastating consequences of President Trump’s shutdown.
“There are serious humanitarian issues that exist at our border, but the president’s heartless and chaotic policies have only made them worse – much worse — while demonizing immigrants who are vital members of our workforce and our communities. And President Trump’s thoughtless demands for an ineffective border wall would do nothing to make our nation safer or more secure, which is why New Mexico’s border communities and broad majorities of Americans reject the president’s wall. It is time for Senate Republicans to end this ridiculous Trump shutdown, stand up to the president’s governance-by-extortion, and pass the clear bipartisan solutions that Democrats have offered to re-open the government.”
Assistant Speaker Ben Ray Luján:
WASHINGTON, D.C. — “Tonight, the President chose to stoke fear instead of restore certainty for the hundreds of thousands of families who do not know when their next paycheck will come. To govern based on the President’s tantrums is a disservice to the American people. We must have a debate about border security and addressing the humanitarian crisis caused by this administration’s reckless immigration policies. But first, I urge the President to work with Congress in a responsible way on one of the several options Democrats have put forward to open the government.”
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham:
SANTA FE — “The president’s wall is an outdated, ineffectual idea that should never, ever come to fruition, and meaningful border security investments should be on the table. But his predilection for throwing a tantrum in place of actually negotiating a solution should surprise no one at this point. His federal shutdown is needlessly harming our Native American communities, our families and thousands of hard-working federal professionals in this state and beyond.
“Two migrant children recently died in federal custody in this state. Two bright futures. Two families forever changed. The federal government must be proactive in caring for and recognizing the dire needs of the children and families who come to us from unimaginable hardship and through life-threatening conditions seeking a better future.
“I will be visiting our state’s southern border on Friday. In the meantime, I call on Congress to investigate the circumstances of these unconscionable deaths, and I call on the president to end his unnecessary shutdown immediately. The health and safety of vulnerable children is and will always be more important than the empty and offensive symbolism of a wall.”