Washington, DC – In the dead of night, Congress released the finalized text for its $1.5 trillion federal funding bill, which increases Trump-era spending levels for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and maintains Customs and Border Protection (CBP) funding levels roughly the same. Included is funding to detain 34,000 people in abusive ICE detention and an increase of $10 million to ICE’s so-called “Alternatives to Detention” (ATD) programs which further restrict, surveil, and harm immigrant communities and have not resulted in fewer people in detention. The bill also fails to rescind billions of construction dollars for Trump’s lethal border wall. The House is expected to vote on the bill today, with the Senate following next week after a 4-day extension.
The Defund Hate Coalition issued the following statement:
“All along this federal funding bill has been kept secret, negotiated in backroom deals and left out of sight from the public and the majority of lawmakers. This was no mistake. It was Congress’ blatant attempt to conceal and quickly pass a bill that continues funding the violence of immigration enforcement at obscene levels, all while hoping to evade public scrutiny and backlash.
Behind each dollar spent for immigration enforcement are millions of lives, families and loved ones – many of whom are Black and brown – who are brutalized, beaten and even killed at the hands of ICE and CBP. It is appalling and unacceptable that Congress would even consider continuing to fund these abuses, yet that’s precisely what they’re doing.
Congress is working to yet again funnel billions of dollars into the pockets of ICE and CBP, two agencies that have separated children from their parents, detained thousands in inhumane facilities, and deported and expelled millions–including people seeking asylum –just in the past year. Despite the President’s already alarming request for billions of dollars to immigration enforcement in his Fiscal Year 2022 budget proposal, this federal funding bill would provide ICE and CBP with nearly $267 million and $26 million more than the President requested respectively. In total, this bill would give over $23 billion dollars to ICE and CBP and keep the average daily population of immigrants in detention at Trump levels of 34,000 people instead of the already inflated 28,500 people Congress initially proposed this year. Added to this, Congress has refused to rescind unspent border wall funding and has directed DHS to continue using funds as the Trump administration intended. This will be devastating for border communities, the environment, and wildlife.
It’s far past time for members of Congress to get on a path to meaningful change. Fiscal Year 2023 is this Congress’ last chance to pass a funding bill that reflects what communities nationwide truly need, including investment in housing, healthcare, environmental protections and education while significantly cutting funds to ICE and CBP.”
The #DefundHate campaign, composed of organizations representing directly impacted communities, faith leaders, and civil rights and immigrant rights advocates, is committed to divestment from agencies that tear apart our families and terrorize our communities. For too long, our representatives have said they care about our communities while simultaneously funding aggressive immigration enforcement and deadly immigration jails. They must be held accountable to keep their promises and stand with the immigrant community. We call on our members of Congress to say no and vote against wasting taxpayer dollars on an abusive and deadly immigration enforcement system. Instead, we want our tax dollars used to strengthen our families and communities by investing in education, housing, nutrition and health care programs that provide opportunity and increase well-being.