When I came to work for Homeland Security there wasn’t a prouder person on the face of this earth. As a federal officer for Customs and Immigration Services I knew I had a very important task to protect the United States every single day that I go to work. I make decisions on a daily basis that affect the safety of not only my family, but every single family, mother, daughter, father, sister, brother, grandmother, police officer, fireman, stay at home mother and child of this great country. I hold my head high every single day knowing that I am making the most informed decisions I can on a daily basis, that I will protect my country, that I will not grant benefits to someone who is not entitled to them, and I will do my very best to find the fraud on a daily basis.
As a single mother of two daughters I put myself through school all on my own while raising my daughters. I am currently helping my youngest special needs daughter through college, supplementing my older daughters family who have a small child and my daughter is under employed and finds it tough to make ends meet. I have student loans to pay back from obtaining my education, needless to say I live paycheck to paycheck. I provide health care for my children and being a disabled person myself who went back into the workforce instead of staying on disability I felt it more important to contribute to society. The current cost of living wage freeze that has been voted on for the next two years will hit my family very hard. As you know, San Diego, California is one of the most expensive areas when it comes to housing and the cost of gas. I commute to my place of employment almost 35 miles each way. Because where I live there is no public transportation for more than five miles I am forced to drive myself to work on a daily basis, which makes it impossible for me to do without a car. Because of the continued rise in the cost of gas alone this will force me to continue to defer my student loans at additional expense, as well as having to find other ways to cut in areas where things have become so tight I just don’t see where there is room to cut further.
My family does not go out to the movies, we do not go out to dinners any more. For my grandsons first birthday his mother made his cake to save on expenses. I consolidate my trips to save on gas, shop for both my older daughters family and my home at the same time to save on gas. I use mail order pharmacy for my medications so I can save on gas having to drive to the pharmacy, and my daughter has consolidated her days at college and carpools with a friend to save on gas.
Our family is doing our part to save money and resources, however, with pay freeze and not cost of living increase while the cost of living continues to rise I am afraid I will have to start cutting necessities such as skipping medication doses or not see my doctor as often to save on gas and doctors co-pays. Any additional cuts to the working class within the Federal Government is going to hurt the middle class America, please think about that before you do any additional cuts.
US Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services, California
I work for CIS and my husband was laid off almost 3 years ago after 15 years with the company. We have had some struggles and have to alter our lifestyle to one income, but I am not complaining because the government has been very good to me, they are not proposing to cut my pay or RIF me – they are merely saying “sorry, no raises for the next 2 years” in order to cut costs elsewhere. Am I saying “oh, darn…” Sure I am, but I am thankful I have a job with benefits and don’t have to worry about being laid off as so many are. If you HAVE a job, you are one of the lucky ones, so government workers should keep that in mind when whining about not getting their 2% increase each year. I’m VERY thankful that I have a paycheck I can count on.