Donald Trump’s mass deportation agenda is already wreaking havoc in immigrant communities across the country — and even more detentions and deportations will occur if Congress grants Trump the $3 billion supplemental funding request he’s seeking to massively expand the country’s deportation force.
That’s why Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), and Kamala Harris (D-CA) joined the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) and other advocates this week to tell Congress why Trump’s request should be rejected.
As NCLR President and CEO Janet Murguía said:
We cannot allow this scorched-earth policy to be implemented. We need to end the assault on our children, end the assault on our families and end the assault on our community.
American children and spouses: stop separating our families
At the press conference were three American children whose parents were deported in February. Thirteen-year old Fatima was being driven to school when her father — a restaurant worker and the sole breadwinner for their family — was pulled over and taken into custody by ICE. After he told her to “relax and be strong”, she tearfully recorded his arrest. As Fatima said at the event on Tuesday:
“I finished the L.A. Marathon with the help of my dad,” she said, explaining that her father would ride his bike alongside her during weekend practices, to make sure she did not give up.
“When I finish high school, I want to go to college so I can go to law school. I want to become an immigration lawyer. That’s like a new marathon for me, and I know I can finish it, but I need my coach there; I need my dad. I never thought any of my life I would have to experience seeing my father taken away from me. He has always been right beside me to help me in any struggles I had.”
Another speaker was Rosa Escobar, whose husband was deported — a removal she struggles to explain to her young children:
My biggest fear today is getting a phone call saying that my husband has been murdered. How do I explain that to my two children? Why is my American Dream being crushed by my own country, because my own president doesn’t understand that I’m in love with someone who is an illegal immigrant.
Sens. Schumer, Menendez, Harris: no taxpayer money for deportation force
As Sen. Schumer said during the press conference, Congress should reject Trump’s attempt to use taxpayer money to separate families:
Sadly, there are thousands of families going through the same pain and hardship as the families here today. And there are millions of children who are U.S. citizens with at least one undocumented parent who worry every day about whether their mom or dad will be home when they get back from school. As if this weren’t enough, the Trump administration is requesting additional DHS funding to build a border wall and hire a deportation force. Instead of spending taxpayer dollars on a pointless wall, we should be investing in creating jobs and fixing our crumbling infrastructure, not in separating American families and harming kids and local economies.