Even Trump's own John Kelly thinks the shutdown needs to end.
Every single former secretary of the Department of Homeland Security — including one of Trump's — has signed on to a letter warning that Trump has created a security "crisis" by shutting down the federal government.
DHS, which was founded in 2002 under President George W. Bush, has had five other department heads before Trump's current DHS chief, Kirstjen Nielsen. The letter was signed by all five of them — including John Kelly, Trump's former chief of staff who also previously served as Trump's DHS secretary.
The other signers are Tom Ridge and Michael Chertoff, who served under Bush, and Janet Napolitano and Jeh Johnson, who served under President Barack Obama.
The department, they write, is "facing a real crisis," and may not be able to retain its vital security workforce much longer. The letter asks Trump and Congress to "fund the critical mission of DHS," which includes aviation security, law enforcement, border security, and emergency response, among others.
Some DHS employees are able to supplement their income via outside work — but others, like the armed service members in the Coast Guard, cannot do the same. Other DHS employees have been helped out by community organizations and charities like food banks during the shutdown.
"DHS employees who protect the traveling public, investigate and counter terrorism, and protect critical infrastructure should not have to rely on the charitable generosity of others for assistance in feeding their families and paying their bills while they steadfastly focus on the mission at hand," the former officials wrote.
The fact that employees do have to rely on this help is "unconscionable," they added.
Trump's shutdown is occurring because he and his Republican allies have prioritized wasting billions on a racist and unnecessary border wall over keeping the government open. It is ravaging the economy and creating massive economic hardship.
Every former official whose job it has been to keep Americans safe sees this — even Trump's own John Kelly. But Trump has no interest in listening to reason.
Published with permission of The American Independent.