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This Week in the Immigration Debate: Courts Step in to Block Trump Muslim and Refugee Ban; Trump’s Deportation Force Funding Request

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Legal experts and advocates gathered in a conference call with reporters today to discuss the Hawaii and Maryland court rulings against Trump’s Muslim and refugee ban, and a $3 billion supplemental funding request to Congress to expand Trump’s deportation force and immigrant detention camps. A recording of today’s event is available here.

Tom Jawetz, Vice President of Immigration, Center for American Progress, said:

Instead of spending an additional $3 billion to fund Trump’s mass deportation agenda we could create new middle class jobs, hire more teachers, make childcare more affordable for working class families, and protect the environment. Using the funds in this way would make a lot more sense than writing a blank check to, among other things, the private prison industry. Let me make one thing very clear, we’re at the beginning of this fight, not the end.

Jen Smyers, Director of Policy and Advocacy, Immigration and Refugee Program, Church World Service, said:

We’re relieved and grateful for Judge Watson’s decision, because we can now fulfill our promise to more than 60,000 refugees who we have promised to protect, who have been approved by the Department of Homeland Security, for whom resettlement is a last resort, and who Trump would have us turn our backs on. The courts have repeatedly rejected this executive order, showing that no amount of tweaking can make this good policy. And the American people have rejected it as well, as seen by the powerful airport protests, thousands demonstrating outside the White House, and more than five thousand religious leaders calling on the Administration and Congress to rescind this executive order.

Kamal Essaheb, Director of Policy & Advocacy, National Immigration Law Center Immigrant Justice Fund, said:

Over the past 24 hours, we saw both a stinging rebuke of the Trump agenda in courts, along with a breathtaking advance of his vision for this country through his budget. Make no mistake, the Muslim Ban is only one part of Trump’s overall plan to reshape America. Trump’s actions expose this administration’s blueprint for reshaping America – and it’s a blueprint that shuns those working to ends meet and advances a mass deportation agenda.

Lynn Tramonte, Deputy Director, America’s Voice Education Fund, said:

These funding requests are Trump’s mass deportation blueprint, written in dollar signs.  We fully expect all legislators of conscience – Republican and Democrat – to prevent Trump from taking American tax dollars to fund his Deportation Force and immigrant detention camps.