For Immediate Release
Contact: José Alonso Muñoz | firstname.lastname@example.org | 202.810.0746
Washington, D.C. – Yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) released his COVID-19 package called the HEALS Act. Yet, the bill does nothing to heal a country in crisis, the border communities that have been terrorized by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents for decades, and most recently communities in Portland that were attacked by CBP and other federal agents. The HEALS Act includes $1.6 billion for CBP, money that can be used to go after immigrants and to kidnap protestors across the country. Trump shared he plans to continue deploying these agents to cities like Chicago, New York, and others.
McConnell’s proposal also does not get close to meeting the needs of communities ravaged by the health and economic crisis: by slashing unemployment aid, falling short of providing ample state and local funding, and excluding immigrants whose lives are also on the line, and many of whom have been working essential jobs.
Sanaa Abrar, Advocacy Director of United We Dream, said:
“The use of CBP agents to wreak havoc on protestors in Portland and across the country is deeply disturbing and exemplifies why we need to defund CBP. CBP, along with ICE and the police exist to target, jail, deport and kill Black and brown people and giving this agency billions of dollars to continue that work shows us exactly where Republican priorities lie.
Over the past few months, we have seen a series of courageous uprisings led by Black leaders taking place across all 50 states to protest the continued state-sanctioned killings of Black people. We’re in a moment of reckoning in this country. We as people of this nation are demanding a change to oppressive systems of white supremacy and anti-Blackness that have permeated through so many of our institutions for far too long. The fight to defend Black lives has raised the need to defund police and the deportation force of ICE and CBP, which act as Trump’s national police.
We call on Senate Democratic leadership to reject McConnell’s nonstarter proposal. We also call on every person who is outraged by what they see in Portland and what they’ve heard from immigrants at the border to join us in organizing against this. United We Dream is leading a letter campaign that allows you to write directly to your Senator asking them to include free COVID-19 testing, treatment, and services for ALL, cash assistance for ALL, and to extend protections from deportation for DACA, TPS holders and other immigrants. Join us to defeat McConnell‘s package and get the Senate to pass the HEROES Act, which our people need and deserve as we recover from the pandemic.”
United We Dream is the largest immigrant youth-led organization in the nation, a powerful network made up of over 400,000 members and 48 affiliate organizations across 26 states. UWD’s vision is to build a multi-racial, multi-ethnic movement of young people who organize and advocate at the local and national levels for the dignity and justice of immigrants and communities of color in the United States.