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It’s not just about the wall

It’s not just about the wall

Published: February 1, 2019
Photo: AFSC

Washington, DC (February 1, 2019) This week, some Democratic members of the conference committee opened the door to further enable Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda with a proposal to increase Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) budget by $396 million and Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) budget by $278 million. The proposal comes as Congress is negotiating a way to fund the government after February 15 or face another Trump imposed shutdown.

Disappointed by the initial proposal, the #DefundHate Coalition released the following statement:

It’s not just about the wall. We reject any funding proposal that would further militarize, incarcerate and surveil our communities, including a ‘smart wall’ or other policies that would subscribe to Trump’s manufactured border crisis.

Members of Congress must not buy into Trump’s fear-mongering tactics, and instead do the following:

  1. Cut, not increase, funding for violent, abusive and wasteful immigration enforcement. Specifically, this means decreasing funds for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and spending not one penny on any border barrier construction;
  2. Create real accountability for federal spending by prohibiting the Trump Administration from raiding other accounts (through transfers or reprogramming) to increase funds available for the wall, immigration detention, and other anti-immigrant programs;
  3. Demand a commitment from Trump, as a key part of good faith negotiations, that he will not invoke a national border emergency, or otherwise undermine Congress’ constitutional ‘power of the purse’ by unilaterally seizing funds from other government accounts toward construction of a wall or any other other physical barriers.

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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.

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