For Immediate Release: June 11, 2019
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House Appropriations panel hikes spending for agencies leading Trump’s racist agenda but attempts to add accountability
WASHINGTON, DC — In a year in which we have witnessed the inhumane treatment by the Trump administration of immigrant children being separated from their families, of deaths of immigrants in the hands of federal agents, of children and asylees being housed in cages and subjected to other deplorable conditions and denied civil and human rights, the House Appropriations Committee has sent to the full House a bill that adds some accountability measures but unfortunately still increases spending for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which is carrying out these racist policies.
The committee proposes $63.8 billion in discretionary appropriations, which is $2.2 billion above the current fiscal year 2019 and $1.9 billion below the President’s request.
The following is a statement by Richard Morales, policy director for LA RED, Faith in Action’s immigrants’ rights program:
“As the appropriations committee celebrates its approval of a DHS funding bill that excludes spending on the president’s ‘vanity wall,’ at the border, ends family detentions by the end of this year, and freezes funding at current levels for border patrol agents and checkpoints, the full House must push for further cuts in programs that are harming our communities.
“For example, the appropriators actually increase spending for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) including $387 million for an additional 41,500 detention beds if the DHS secretary certifies that there is a migration surge occurring at the U.S. border. DHS should go through the same funding process as any other federal agency seeking additional funds if resources run out due to unforeseen circumstances.
The full House must also decrease ICE’s budget and strengthen accountability of these mismanaged agencies so that Trump does not have an open checkbook to carry out his inhumane, racist policies and scare tactics. Only then, can the House be in a strong bargaining position when it negotiates a final funding bill with the conservative-controlled Senate and the White House.
Members of Congress must never forget that 24 immigrants have died in ICE custody during the Trump administration.
“By spending less on border militarization and unwarranted deportations that separate families, Congress should invest that money in our communities — in schools, health care, public works projects that create livable wages.”
Faith in Action, formerly known as PICO National Network, is the largest grassroots, faith-based organizing network in the United States. The nonpartisan organization works with 1,000 religious congregations in more than 200 cities and towns through its 46 local and state federations. For more information, visit www.faithinaction.org.
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