For Immediate Release:
Tuesday, February 12, 2019
Michelle Boykins, email@example.com
202-296-2300, ext. 0144
Elliot Levy, Bend the Arc: Jewish Action, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-800-7409
Washington, DC — Last night, details of an agreement by the conference committee emerged that show potential increases to the deportation forces of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP), including the building of 55 miles of border wall and a massive expansion of immigration detention.
For over a year, the Defund Hate coalition has advocated to members of Congress and to state and local officials to reject Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda and to do so by defunding the agencies that are militarizing, incarcerating, and surveilling our communities.
In that time, we have made immense progress in centering the role the appropriations process plays in allowing these unaccountable and dangerous agencies to harm our communities.
In the discussions happening over this agreement we can see the impact of this work as the public questions why Congress gives so much money to the agencies that are currently detaining 48,747 immigrants in ICE detention camps nationwide.
We also see progress in the growing number of elected officials who won with a mandate to reject Trump’s wall and anti-immigration policies, and who echo the call to cut funding to these agencies. However, talk is not enough. Members of Congress must also show their posture by refusing to increase money for ICE and CBP and call for cuts in funding.
Responding to this current agreement, the #DefundHate Coalition released the following statement:
“Our bottom lines and vision forward have not changed throughout this conference committee process. The alternative to this agreement and previous proposals is clear: rather than increasing the size and budget of the deportation force, which separates families and loved ones, perpetuates abuse and embeds fear into communities nationwide, Members of Congress must:
- Cut, not increase, funding for violent, abusive and wasteful immigration enforcement. Specifically, this means decreasing funds for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and spending not one penny on any border barrier construction;
- Create real accountability for federal spending by prohibiting the Trump Administration from raiding other accounts (through transfers or reprogramming) to increase funds available for the wall, immigration detention, and other anti-immigrant programs;
- Demand a commitment from Trump, as a key part of good faith negotiations, that he will not invoke a national border emergency, or otherwise undermine Congress’ constitutional ‘power of the purse’ by unilaterally seizing funds from other government accounts toward construction of a wall or any other physical barriers.”
The #DefundHate campaign, composed of organizations representing directly impacted communities, faith leaders, and civil rights and immigrant rights advocates, is committed to divestment from agencies that tear apart our families and terrorize our communities. For too long, our representatives have said they care about our communities while simultaneously funding aggressive immigration enforcement and deadly immigration jails. They must be held accountable to keep their promises and stand with the immigrant community. We call on our members of Congress to say no and vote against wasting taxpayer dollars on an abusive and deadly immigration enforcement system. Instead, we want our tax dollars used to strengthen our families and communities by investing in education, housing, nutrition and health care programs that provide opportunity and increase well-being.