Defund Hate: To Build Back Better, Congress Must End Trump Level Immigration Enforcement Funding and Pass a Final Fiscal Year 2022 Bill That Dramatically Cuts Funding for ICE and CBP

Anabel Mendoza Press Releases

For Immediate Release
Contact: Anabel Mendoza | anabel@unitedwedream.org

Washington, DC — In response to the continuing resolution passed last night by members of Congress to fund the federal government until February 18 and avoid a government shutdown the Defund Hate Campaign and the We Are Home Campaign issued the following statements: 

The Defund Hate Campaign, said:

“To truly ‘Build Back Better,’ appropriators need to recognize their critical role in protecting immigrants, refugees and people seeking asylum from a punitive system that strips people of their dignity and basic human rights and separates them from loved ones. Immigration advocates have been working tirelessly with members of Congress this year for proactive legislative protections—reducing funds for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) punitive immigration enforcement operations is essential to these efforts.”

“As Congress moves toward the new deadline in February, the Defund Hate Campaign and We Are Home Coalition are urging members of Congress to negotiate a final Department of Homeland Security (DHS) bill for FY2022 that makes significant cuts in funding to ICE and CBP, with an emphasis on:

  • Significantly cutting funding for ICE Custody Operations. Reducing detention levels to reflect an average daily population (ADP) of no more than 15,000 people would put a necessary check on ICE’s power to harm people and separate communities. Congress should be investing funds in community-based respite and support services for arriving asylum seekers, not writing a blank check for their systematic detention. 
  • Significantly cutting funding for border tech infrastructure. Surveillance and other technologies risk real harm to the environment, infringe on the privacy rights of border and indigenous communities, and lead to more deaths as people crossing the border take more dangerous routes to avoid detection. We must defund all walls, including “smart” ones, and end the ongoing property seizures at the border.

“Let us be clear: any amount of funding for ICE and CBP equates to abuse, and, in horrific cases like Anastasio Hernandez Rojas’, death. It is unacceptable for Congress to maintain the anti-immigrant budget levels of the Trump administration knowing full well the devastating impact ICE and CBP continue to have on the real lives of immigrants and their loved ones every day.” 

The We Are Home campaign, said: 

“Continuing to fund the destructive immigration enforcement system at Trump-era levels creates a significant structural barrier to transforming the system to be more fair and humane. The We Are Home campaign joins Defund Hate in calling on Congress to exercise its spending power to decrease harm on immigrant communities and increase investment in a functional, welcoming immigration system that supports the health and well-being of all.” 

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The Defund Hate Coalition, 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.

We Are Home is a nationwide campaign to fight for immigrant communities on three fronts: prioritizing and demanding a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants in America; a moratorium and overhaul of interior enforcement; and broad affirmative relief from deportation. We Are Home is co-chaired by Community Change/Community Change Action; National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA)/Care in Action; Service Employees International Union (SEIU); United Farm Workers/UFW Foundation; and United We Dream.