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The following is a statement from Pili Tobar, Managing Director of America’s Voice, regarding Politico’s Ted Hesson scoop that, as hurricane season commenced, the Trump administration drained FEMA’s response-and-recovery fund of $10 million to increase their capacity to separate families and detain children. Watch Senator Jeff Merkley’s (D-OR) interview with Rachel Maddow last night here:
What is the administration’s priority? Safeguarding Americans from another record-breaking natural disaster or the indefinite detention and permanent traumatization of children?
The answer is clear. Republicans and the Trump administration are so obsessed with harming immigrant children and families that they’re willing to put Americans’ well-being and safety at risk in order to continue with their never ending vendetta against immigrants. Trump and the administration’s reckless decision to drain “routine operating expenses” from FEMA affects our country’s preparedness for natural disasters, and the fact that they’re doing it in order to incarcerate more children is simply appalling and cruel but sadly, it’s not surprising.
We need accountability. Whether these funds had congressional authorization is yet to be determined, but it’s clear Congress needs to step in. The American people need leaders who have their priorities in order, who will put our safety first and protect us from the consequences of the Trump administration’s fear mongering and misguided political tactics.