On Monday, April 3, United We Dream advocates delivered petitions — 290,000 of them — gathered by United We Dream, CREDO, ACLU, Detention Watch Network, Church World Service, and America’s Voice to ask that the Senate Democrats who have committed to vote against funding President Donald Trump’s expansion of federal immigration forces and the border wall stand by their promise. View photos and videos here.
United We Dream will also visit certain Republican offices and demand that they reject Trump’s budget to terrorize immigrants.
Trump’s $3 billion supplemental funding request
Since inauguration, the Trump Administration and his Mass Deportation Force have terrorized, detained, and deported immigrants with U.S. citizen children and others with deep ties to America and separated families. His $3 billion DHS supplemental funding request will only further unleash the beast and includes:
- $1.4 billion to construct the border wall, which both Democrats and Republicans have criticized as a waste of taxpayer dollars and 67% of Americans oppose.
- $1.2 billion for more detention facilities which will fuel the private prison industry without addressing documented abuses in these facilities.
- Increased detention capacity up to an unprecedented 45,700 beds.
- Preparations to hire 1,000 ICE agents in 2018 so more ICE agents will roam communities – including churches and courthouses – apprehending immigrants.
- Preparations to hire 500 more Border Patrol agents in fiscal year 2018 even though apprehensions at the southern border are at all-time lows and DHS doesn’t meet existing hiring goals because many applicants fail their polygraph tests.
Across party lines, the majority of Americans disapprove of Trump’s cruel, chaotic, and costly terror campaign. Democratic and Republican Senators alike must stand up and defend our nation’s motto — E Pluribus Unum, out of many one — and refuse to fund Trump’s hateful attacks on immigrants and people of color.
Last week, Sen. Schumer said that “Senate Democrats are prepared to fight this all the way.” The groups delivering the petitions are letting Democratic Senators know that they expect them to keep their word.
Greisa Martinez, advocacy director of United We Dream:
Today, we are bringing the voices of hundreds of thousands of people across the country into Senators’ offices to say that none of our money should be spent on building Trump’s detention camps, deportation force or border wall. Trump has already unleashed immigration agents to terrorize families like mine with his executive orders. Congress should divest from inhumane immigration enforcement and invest in priorities to ensure that all people have full and equal rights.
Heidi Hess, senior campaign manager at CREDO:
Donald Trump wants to harass, deport and terrorize people who have come to the United States seeking refuge from conflict, lives free from persecution and better economic opportunities for their families. Senate Democrats and Republicans with conscience have a choice: Enable Trump’s agenda of criminalization and deportations, or resist and obstruct his racist regime at every turn.
Juan Escalante, digital organizer at America’s Voice:
Donald Trump has a single goal when it comes to immigration: ensure that taxpayers foot the bill for his racist and xenophobic agenda. The American people agree that Trump’s immigration policies undermine our values as a nation, which is why we cannot allow Congress to grant the Trump Administration billions of dollars to continue to attack hard-working immigrant families.
Danny Cendejas, organizing director at Detention Watch Network:
Trump’s plan to expand an already deadly detention system will only further exacerbate the abuse and inhumane conditions that have proven to have fatal consequences. Congress has the choice to fund Trump’s detention and deportation force or save taxpayer dollars for policies and projects that will strengthen our communities. This is Congress’s chance to say ‘no’ to Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda. We will not stand by while Senators fund attacks against our communities.
Rev. John L. McCullough, President and CEO of Church World Service:
People of faith and goodwill understand that a wall to keep our neighbors out and a deportation force to go after our community members are contrary to our best values and our potential as a nation. Our tax dollars should be spent alleviating poverty and investing in our future, not separating families and making people afraid. We call on Congress to use its “power of the purse” to stop these harmful policies in their tracks. Now is the time to reject the notion that spending billions of dollars to detain children, separate families, and deport our community members will do anything other than aggravate an already broken immigration system.