For Immediate Release – Feb. 14, 2019
Contact: Gebe Martinez | firstname.lastname@example.org | 703-731-9505
WASHINGTON, DC — LA RED, the immigrant rights campaign of Faith in Action, is calling on members of Congress to vote “No” on an appalling immigration enforcement measure that increases funding for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) but does not hold them accountable for the abusive detention and deportation policies or for overspending taxpayers’ dollars. Senate and House votes on the measure are set for today.
The border and interior immigration funding bill was negotiated by a bipartisan group of members of the House and Senate who focused less on humanitarian concerns than in enforcement measures to get legislation to the White House by the Friday deadline and avoid Congress being blamed for another disastrous government shutdown.
LA RED calls on Congress to vote “No” on the funding bill that increases funding for ICE and CBP, including provisions that increase detention beds, militarize our border, but does not block the Trump administration from moving money from other critical programs, such as disaster relief for Puerto Rico, to circumvent the bipartisan congressional deal by spending more on wasteful programs like a border wall.
While the president is solely to blame for the last shutdown — created when Congress first refused to fund his unpopular and wasteful border wall — congressional negotiators “essentially gave into Trump’s demands by proposing an immoral spending bill that further militarizes the border and revs up the administration’s detention and deportation machines,” said Richard Morales, policy and program director for Faith in Action’s immigrants’ rights campaign, LA RED.
“Let us not forget, that while Congress votes on a bill that increases funding for detention beds, they are impacting the lives and families of our community. Francia Taborda , Carlos Urrutia and Rosa Gutierrez Lopez are just three of members of our communities targeted, detained, or deported by ICE in the last two years. Unfortunately their stories and pain are not unique, as ICE tore apart hundreds of thousands families in the last two years and Congress is complicit when they fail to hold these agencies accountable,” Morales added.
The rights of immigrants and residents in border communities also would be severely impeded under the proposed funding measure. “We also strongly oppose any bill that does not block Trump’s ability to reprogram disaster relief and other funds to pay for his wall and further militarization of the border,” Morales emphasized.
“Congress should stand up to Trump and cut funds, not increase them, given the abuses his administration have unleashed on immigrant communities including separations of children from parents, deaths of adults and children while in custody, violence and abuse against immigrants and denial of asylees’ rights,” Morales added.
“Our nation will be better served when Congress defunds hate and violence against immigrants and instead invests taxpayers’ dollars in our communities, in areas such as education, health care, gun violence prevention, and creation of jobs,” Morales said.
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.