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#DefundHate Escalates Campaign to Cut Funding for ICE, CBP in 2020

Photo: / Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement

Coalition of immigrant, civil rights, faith, LGBTQ, legal services and other organizations demand Congress cut funding for detention, deportation, and border militarization

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The #DefundHate coalition announced today the next phase of its national campaign to defund Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Both agencies have well-documented track records of abuse and have repeatedly thwarted oversight and accountability. CBP and ICE play a key role in Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda, and are instrumental in carrying out the militarization of border communities, devastating deportations of individuals and families, and the unconscionable detention of migrants.

“More and more people across the country have come to see the critical importance of defunding ICE and CBP,” said Sanaa Abrar, Advocacy Director of United We Dream and a member of the #DefundHate Coalition. “These dangerous agencies tear apart families and communities. That is why we are calling on Congress to cut their funding in 2020. The billions of dollars that Trump wants to radically increase ICE and CBP should instead be invested in education, infrastructure, and services that create safe and healthy communities for our collective well-being, not abusive and deadly immigration enforcement.”

The relaunch of the #DefundHate campaign comes just days after President Trump released his budget for the 2020 fiscal year.

“Trump’s budget seeks to dramatically expand the deportation force, surveillance dragnet, hateful border wall and unjust immigration detention system,” said Richard Morales, Policy and Program Director for LA RED, the immigration program of Faith in Action and member of the #DefundHate Coalition. “As Congress evaluates the federal budget, it is more important than ever to prevent funding for Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda.”

The 2020 budget also calls for a massive slush fund that would allow the Trump administration to redirect money toward detention and deportation.

“The Trump administration has attempted to manufacture crisis after crisis in the southern border region, going so far as to call a fake ‘national emergency’ to fund the President’s anti-immigrant agenda and deadly, wasteful wall,” said Vicki B. Gaubeca, director of the Southern Border Communities Coalition and member of the #DefundHate Coalition. “The Trump administration's shameful Fiscal Year 2020 budget request, which includes several slush funds he grants himself the ability to spend as he pleases, provides further evidence that the Administration opposes constitutional checks and balances and is attempting to concentrate power — particularly over federal resources — in the Executive Branch.”

“Congress must serve as a check on President Trump's white nationalist agenda that aims to exclude immigrants and others from the promise of our democracy,” said Rabbi Jason Kimelman-Block, Washington Director of Bend the Arc: Jewish Action. “Right now, ICE and CBP are terrorizing immigrant families and running roughshod over Congress — they must be held accountable and prohibited from unilaterally padding their coffers. Our lawmakers must not negotiate what is morally non-negotiable: the unnecessary and cruel immigration enforcement arms race must come to an end."

The #DefundHate campaign has helped successfully block over $5 billion in sought-after funding for border militarization and immigration detention. The coalition is made up of organizations from DC, the border regions, and across the country. Coalition members regularly meet with members of congress, both in DC and in their districts, to urge them to stand with their constituents and direct funding away from these harmful agencies and toward the programs and institutions their communities actually need to thrive.

Members of the DefundHate Coalition include:

American Civil Liberties Union • Alianza Americas • American Friends Service Committee • Asian Americans Advancing Justice • Bend the Arc: Jewish Action • Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA) • CREDO • Church World Service • Detention Watch Network • Earth Justice • Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM) • Friends Committee on National Legislation •  Immigrant Defense Project • Immigrant Youth Coalition • Indivisible • La Red • MoveOn • Nakasec • National Center for Lesbian Rights • National Immigrant Justice Center • National Immigration Law Center • National Immigration Project • Southern Border Communities Coalition • South Asian American Leaders • South East Asian Faith Initiatives • Southeast Immigrant Rights Network (SEIRN) • The Immigration Hub • Undocublack • Unitarian Universalist Service Committee • UltraViolet • United We Dream • We Belong Together • Make the Road NY

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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.