WASHINGTON DC (February 15, 2019) Today, President Trump declared a national state of emergency. Yesterday, Congress passed a funding bill that includes both a dramatic increase in immigrant detention and $1.375 billion for wall construction. The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) – a 101 year old international Quaker organization devoted to peace and justice – condemned both the emergency declaration and the legislation.
“The Omnibus Appropriations Bill passed by Congress already increases funding for deadly immigrant detention and the militarization of our border communities,” said Kathryn Johnson, Policy Advocacy Coordinator for AFSC. “The fact that the President is also circumventing congressional oversight to get billions more for his border wall is outrageous and illegal.”
AFSC works with migrants and refugees all over the world, and advocates for just and humane immigration policies in the U.S. “A border wall and more militarization and detention endangers border communities and migrants across the country,” said Pedro Rios, director of AFSC’s U.S.-Mexico Border Program in San Diego. “Most people in the U.S. are against funding the border wall, which is why the President is using potentially illegal tactics to try to build it.”
AFSC has long called for the demilitarization of border communities, and for Congress to cut funding for Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection.
“We are calling on the president to reverse this declaration and instead implement policies that honor human rights,” said Johnson. “And we are calling on Congress to do everything in its power to challenge any declaration of national emergency that is intended to fund the President's anti-immigrant agenda.”
The American Friends Service Committee is a Quaker organization that includes people of various faiths who are committed to social justice, peace and humanitarian service. Its work is based on the belief in the worth of every person and faith in the power of love to overcome violence and injustice.