December 23, 2018

Los Angeles - Please attribute the following statement on the partial shutdown of the federal government resulting from Donald Trump’s petulant demand for an unnecessary wall along the southern border to Thomas A. Saenz, president and general counsel of MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund):

“Proving himself a modern version of the unredeemed Ebenezer Scrooge, Donald Trump has singlehandedly delivered economic insecurity and troubling future uncertainty to hundreds of thousands of American families this Christmas through a partial shutdown of the federal government. The midterm election -- with its overwhelming rejection by record-breaking numbers of voters, including the growing Latino voter community, of Trumpian division and inhumanity -- should have been the equivalent of the visits of the Christmas ghosts to the original Scrooge, but Donald Trump has apparently learned nothing from the results this past November.

“This shutdown is not one of principle, but one of petty pique. Donald Trump has shut down the government because no one will give him his fetishized border wall, which is costly, unnecessary, and divisive. The last of these is all that Trump seems to care about, as he plays to an increasingly small band of supportive far-right nativists and haters. The bitter irony of Trump shutting the United States government down because of the Senate’s refusal to use U.S. taxpayers’ money to pay for a wall that he promised would be paid for by Mexico is lost to no one.

“Elevating division and nativism over the very basic expectations of our constitutional government has become a tedious and repetitive trait of this administration. The unredeemed modern-day Scrooge, having failed to grasp the lessons of the ghosts, transforms instead into the lap dog of the extremist nationalist right.

“Trump is unredeemed and seemingly unreedemable. We must rely on others. The current leadership of the Congress must step up in the final week of the year to produce veto-proof appropriations bills, with no wasted money on the wall and an investment in introducing greater humanity into our immigration policy and practice.”

Founded in 1968, MALDEF is the nation's leading Latino legal civil rights organization. Often described as the "Latino Legal Voice for Civil Rights in America" MALDEF promotes social change through advocacy, communications, community education, and litigation in the areas of education, employment, immigrant rights, and political access. For more information on MALDEF, please visit:

Copyright 2009 MALDEF, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund