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"Like a pawn in a game": Furloughed workers react to Trump's speech

Furloughed workers react to Trump speech
Furloughed worker after Trump speech: "I feel like a pawn in a game" 02:07

In President Trump's first address from the Oval Office, he tried to convince Americans that the flow of illegal immigrants across the southern border is in fact a crisis. Among those likely watching the president's address and Democratic response last night were hundreds of thousands of federal workers who are currently living without pay.

In Northern California, Julie Clark's side business cleaning windows is now her only source of income after being furloughed as a park ranger. She's worried about defaulting on her student loans. Leisyka Parrott also works for the Bureau of Land Management and is not getting a paycheck. She's a single mother who is down to her last $800. CBS News correspondent Carter Evans watched the speeches with Julie, Leisyka and her son. The women said they did not get the message they were hoping for.

"Yeah, I was hoping, I was like, oh they're going to put us back to work tomorrow. That's what I was hoping to hear. To be honest. I mean, maybe I'm living in a dream world but it seems even more polarized than I could have imagined," Leisyka Parrott said. 

Julie Clark said that although she considers herself quite resilient, she feels like she's "being punished" for something she didn't do.

"We all have to make compromises with each other throughout our daily lives. With our boss, our partner. It seems like government should be a great example of that, and they just don't seem to come together right now," Julie Clark said. 

"Definitely feel like a pawn in a game that I don't agree with … but yeah, I definitely feel stuck, and there's absolutely nothing I can do about it," Leisyka said. 

In his prime-time address President Trump used gruesome examples of Americans allegedly murdered by illegal immigrants including the recent death of a California police officer to make his case for a border wall.

"In California, an Air Force veteran was raped, murdered and beaten to death with a hammer by an illegal alien with a long criminal history. In Georgia, an illegal alien was recently charged with murder for killing, beheading, and dismembering his neighbor. In Maryland, MS-13 gang members who arrived in the United States as unaccompanied minors were arrested and charged last year after viciously stabbing and beating a 16-year-old girl," Mr. Trump said.

"He told some pretty awful stories," Leisyka said. "I just don't feel that he has to hold the country hostage, I don't buy it. That that has to happen, that he has to hold the country hostage to get this at my expense. At all of our expenses. It's all the single moms that are struggling and going, 'Oh my God, what am I going to do?"

"It seems like now, people have dug their heels in," Julie said. "And what I hope for is that they come together and have a valuable compromise and that includes us going back to work."

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