WASHINGTON, DC (September 12, 2022) —Today, over a hundred immigrant rights advocates representing the Defund Hate Campaign rallied on Capitol Hill demanding members of Congress cut funding for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Advocates brought a simple demand to their home districts and D.C.: divest from abusive, deadly, anti-Black and brown immigration enforcement agencies, and redirect the billions of dollars to the wellbeing of all communities.
The Defund Hate Campaign calls on members of Congress to take bold action in upcoming budget negotiations to defund agencies that exist only to abuse, traumatize, and facilitate the premature and preventable deaths of loved ones. Our immigration policies should be rooted in our shared values of community and compassion, not hatred and xenophobia. Budgets are moral documents that must reflect these shared values.
“I’m in Washington today to demand that Congress cut funds to ICE and CBP, so they stop dividing and hurting families like mine,” said Maria, mother and leader with #Not1More Deportation, a project of the American Friends Service Committee in Denver, Colorado. “Congress is giving funds to ICE and CBP that negatively impact the lives of thousands of people, causing them great psychological trauma by separating parents, children, and partners. This is the trauma that myself and my children struggle with today. Instead, Congress should use these resources to increase mental health services and combat bullying in schools. Thousands of young people die every year from this social phenomenon.”
Congress made a deliberate choice last funding cycle to give over $23 billion dollars to ICE and CBP to expel, detain, and deport tens of thousands of people. Congress must redirect billions of taxpayer dollars to support communities through education, housing, healthcare, transportation, reparations, and all areas of life that allow us to live dignified and collective lives. White supremacist violence is at the core of ICE and CBP’s mission and is in direct contradiction to the values thriving communities uphold. It is imperative that Congress listen to their constituents in D.C. today.
Advocates say that Members of Congress who agree to fund ICE and CBP at astronomical levels should confront and understand the gravity and cruelty of their decisions.
Participating organizations include ACLU NY, ACLU National, ACLU TX, Alianza Americas, Americans Friends Service Committee, Amnesty International, Bend The Arc, Community Estrella, Freedom for Immigrants, Haitian Bridge Alliance, ILRC, IMHI, Inland Coalition for Immigrant Justice, Make the Road NJ, Make the Road NY, Mom’s Rising, Movement for Justice in el Barrio, National Immigrant Justice Center, New Mexico Dream Team, OC Rapid Response, Organized Communities Against Deportation, Queer Detainee Empowerment Project, Quixote Center, Showing Up for Racial Justice, Shutdown NOLA, Sojourners, Southern Border Communities Coalition, Southern Poverty Law Center, Sunita Jain, Anti-Trafficking Initiative, UUSC, and United We Dream.
The Defund Hate Campaign is led by a coalition of organizations that represent directly impacted immigrant communities, faith leaders, and civil and immigrant rights advocates. We are committed to divestment from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP), agencies that tear apart loved ones and harm our communities. Instead, we want our tax dollars used to strengthen our families and communities. The coalition unites communities across the country to demand that Congress cut funding for ICE and CBP and instead invest our tax dollars in health care, education and other vital programs that benefit all of us.