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With Trump’s March 5th deadline passed, immigrant advocates are ramping up efforts to stop the Republican controlled Congress from appropriating billions to fund the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) – resources that would be used to detain and deport Dreamers and immigrant families. Instead, Congress should defund hate and enact the Dream Act. In the coming days, Congress must decide whether they will cave to the Trump Administration’s request for an astounding $21.5 billion to fund an unnecessary and harmful border wall, more Deportation Force agents, and more detention camps and to deport Dreamers and long-term immigrant residents.
Today, 354 organizations – including 129 national and 225 state and local organizations – in 39 states and the District of Columbia sent a letter to Majority Leader McConnell, Leader Schumer, Speaker Ryan, Leader Pelosi, Chairman Cochran, Vice Chairman Leahy, Chairman Frelinghuysen and Ranking Member Lowey to “to significantly reduce funding for immigration enforcement and detention in the FY2018 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of Justice (DOJ) appropriations bills.”
Cristina Jimenez, Executive Director of United We Dream, said, “Trump’s mass deportation agenda is in full swing and Congress must intervene to stop it or be complicit in this terror that is happening. Congress must pass the Dream Act and fix the chaos that Trump created. We call on House Republicans to protect immigrant youth without putting other immigrants in danger. Congress must also stop paying for Trump’s mass deportation machine. We must end the practice of dedicating billions upon billions for deportation agents, detention camps, tears and broken families. Moderate House Republicans must know that if they do not resist the Trump mass deportation plan, they will rightfully be held responsible for it.”
Rocio Sáenz, Executive Vice President of Service Employees International Union, said, “Our communities are under intense attack from the people in power and their extremist, racist and greedy agenda. President Trump’s request to fund the construction of his vanity wall and his deportation machine is just the latest attack against all working families. SEIU members will hold accountable those self-interested politicians who choose to waste money on a border wall and deportation forces that rip families apart, but are unwilling to fund core human needs.”
Karen Tumlin, Legal Director of National Immigration Law Center, said, “I am proud to be a part of the team representing DACA recipients in Batalla v. DHS, one of the lawsuits that has resulted in a nationwide injunction. Although we are grateful to have the injunction, we are painfully aware that it excludes individuals who were never able to apply for DACA. It is also a temporary fix – a permanent solution can only come from Congress. Congress has already come up with several bipartisan solutions. Yet, President Trump has failed to take “yes” for an answer and continues to hold this solution hostage to his xenophobic agenda. With respect to the lawsuit filed yesterday by the Trump administration against California, this is yet another example of the Trump administration’s relentless attacks on immigrant communities. Rather than retaliating against states trying to protect all of their residents, Sessions should focus on the many crises his department is currently facing.”
Mary Small, Policy Director of Detention Watch Network and #DefundHate Campaign Member, said, “We already know what the money proposed in this budget looks like in action. It looks like large scale raids, targeting immigrant leaders for retaliation, people dying as the result of medical neglect in detention facilities, and sexual assault survivors in solitary confinement for reporting their assault. Simply put: these are realities that warrant significant cuts in funding from responsible policy-makers committed to being good stewards of taxpayer dollars.”
Justin Krebs, Campaign Director of MoveOn.org, said, “As we mark this cruel and arbitrary deadline, we will not let the public forget that Donald Trump created this crisis. That he has tried to use it, at every turn, to ram through his toxic immigration agenda. We will not forget that Republicans in Congress refused to work with Democrats to pass the bipartisan and popular Dream Act, even as poll after poll showed that the American public wanted it. So Republicans—including Paul Ryan, House speaker for now—are put on notice. If you can’t defend basic rights and dignity of Dreamers and our immigrant neighbors against devastating attacks, the American people will elect a Congress that will.”