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For Immediate Release

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Catherine Lee

Defund Hate: ‘Morally Irresponsible’: Biden’s Budget Proposal Increases Funds for ICE and CBP to Militarize, Detain, and Deport

Contact: press@unitedwedream.org

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Biden administration is proposing almost $25 billion dollars for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in its FY2024 budget proposal, an increase of $800 million over the enacted 2023 budget. The proposal includes a new $4.7 billion “contingency fund” for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), funding for an additional 350 Border Patrol Agents, and $535 million for border security technologies.

In response, the Defund Hate coalition released the following statement: 

“President Biden’s budget proposal recklessly pumps more money into immigration enforcement agencies that wrongly demonize, criminalize, and abuse immigrant and border communities. The White House and the President need a reality check: You cannot continue to pretend to support fair and humane immigration policies while simultaneously pouring more money into ICE and CBP, two agencies plagued by decades of abuse and death, which have been ongoing under Biden’s watch. 

This current budget proposal is morally irresponsible and sets the wrong tone at the start of budget negotiations, especially in a divided Congress. Disturbingly, the budget includes a proposal for a $4.7 billion dollar slush fund for DHS, effectively handing the agency a blank check to carry out recent policy shifts advocates are decrying the administration for considering, like reinstating family detention and extreme bans on asylum. The budget also calls for additional Border Patrol agents and more than half a billion dollars for border security technologies. Amid a record number of deaths along the border, deepening the militarization in the region would be a callous move that pushes even more people who are seeking safety into desperate situations. 

It’s no secret that the draconian policies enforced by ICE and CBP agents every day are driven by xenophobia, racism, white supremacy, and hate. Reviving and expanding these immigration policies that go against our values will be shameful hallmarks of the Biden administration — and this budget would ensure these harmful practices are well-funded. Now is the time for bold leadership. We need a budget that will divert resources to the services people need and those that actually strengthen our communities — like community-based programs and a trauma-informed asylum system, education, housing, healthcare and more.”

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United We Dream is the largest immigrant youth-led organization in the nation; made up of a multi-racial and multi-ethnic network of 1.2 million members, over 100 local groups, and a reach of over 5 million per month. UWD’s vision is to push for just policies that allow everyone to thrive regardless of immigration status. United We Dream is fighting for a multi-racial democracy that works for everyone by building a movement of young people who organize and advocate for the dignity and justice of immigrants and communities of color. You can find more at www.unitedwedream.org.

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