WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Biden administration is proposing almost $25 billion dollars for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in its FY2024 budget proposal, an increase of $800 million over the enacted 2023 budget. The proposal includes a new $4.7 billion “contingency fund” for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), funding for an additional 350 Border Patrol Agents, and $535 million for border security technologies.
In response, the Defund Hate coalition released the following statement:
“President Biden’s budget proposal recklessly pumps more money into immigration enforcement agencies that wrongly demonize, criminalize, and abuse immigrant and border communities. The White House and the President need a reality check: You cannot continue to pretend to support fair and humane immigration policies while simultaneously pouring more money into ICE and CBP, two agencies plagued by decades of abuse and death, which have been ongoing under Biden’s watch.
This current budget proposal is morally irresponsible and sets the wrong tone at the start of budget negotiations, especially in a divided Congress. Disturbingly, the budget includes a proposal for a $4.7 billion dollar slush fund for DHS, effectively handing the agency a blank check to carry out recent policy shifts advocates are decrying the administration for considering, like reinstating family detention and extreme bans on asylum. The budget also calls for additional Border Patrol agents and more than half a billion dollars for border security technologies. Amid a record number of deaths along the border, deepening the militarization in the region would be a callous move that pushes even more people who are seeking safety into desperate situations.
It’s no secret that the draconian policies enforced by ICE and CBP agents every day are driven by xenophobia, racism, white supremacy, and hate. Reviving and expanding these immigration policies that go against our values will be shameful hallmarks of the Biden administration — and this budget would ensure these harmful practices are well-funded. Now is the time for bold leadership. We need a budget that will divert resources to the services people need and those that actually strengthen our communities — like community-based programs and a trauma-informed asylum system, education, housing, healthcare and more.”
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.