Traveler Safety in the Wake of Shutdowns
Updated: Nov 14, 2019
As the world continues to watch the course of events that brought about a record length partial shutdown of the United States’ Federal Government, U.S. based internationally involved travelers may still have reason for increased concern. Uneasiness within the federal workforce stemming from docked pay could soon begin to manifest in failing to supply the manpower necessary to perform the tasks that keep Americans safe domestically and abroad.
The financial strain placed on agencies like the T.S.A. have been in the national spotlight since the beginning of the shutdown. Though some staff have reported back to work during the three-week reopening, there is no promise of a steady income in the near future. When forced to screen passengers with a staff restricted to essential personnel only, specifically in the case of the T.S.A., travelers are at an increased risk as the T.S.A. must process thousands of passengers with fewer people.
The New York Times reported key terminal closures caused by the “abnormally high absenteeism” of screeners. In the event of a resumed government closure, this issue will return to face travelers in the U.S. Should a shutdown proceed, the degree of risk mirrors the lack of ability to staff security checkpoints as funding dwindles.
For Americans abroad, U.S. Embassies are placed in a similar predicament. As many have raised concerns about the status of various embassies and consulates, these entities have done their best to function as usual, while also being reduced to ‘essential’ personnel in some cases.
Various officials including the Secretary of State have gone on record in effort to reassure the American people of their ability to rely on the services and safety afforded them by these agencies, but these are concerns that could become much more real should the shutdowns return for another substantial length of time.
© 2019 De Angelis & Associates.