For Immediate Release: Jan. 25, 2019
Contact: Gebe Martinez | firstname.lastname@example.org | 703-731-9505
Washington, DC — The federal government will re-open for three weeks, the president announced Friday, after he agreed to postpone his immediate demand for $5.7 billion for a wall on the southern border with Mexico.
The following is a statement by Richard Morales, policy and program director for Faith in Action’s immigrants’ rights campaign, LA RED:
“For days, we have repeatedly stated: No walls. No Deals. At least for now, 800,000 government workers who have gone without pay this month — some forced to work without pay, leading to low morale and disruption of critical national security services like airport security and air traffic control — will return to work without Congress immediately forking over funding for Trump’s wall. The White House could no longer ignore the suffering of real people.
“Unfortunately, the agreement between the White House and Congress is limited, and the threat looms that if the Trump does not eventually get his wall funding in order to keep a campaign promise to his political base, he could shutdown the government again or take the extreme action of declaring a national emergency to build the wall.
“Nor is there any expectation that Congress will hold the line — or even cut, as they should — spending by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, whose agencies carry out Trump’s hateful, anti-immigrant policies, including increased funding for detention beds and deportations. Indeed, it appears Congress is poised to increase funding for DHS and that is wrong, as it does not resolve the crises Trump has created.
“This announcement comes as the administration starts returning asylum seekers to Mexico, stripping them of their right to apply from inside the U.S. Other humanitarian disasters overseen by Trump have included caging children at the border, deaths of children and adults while in immigration custody, and ramped up separations of families at the border and in our communities across the nation. This immoral use of government must end.
“Congress must engage in serious negotiations without fear of Trump’s threats; without caving into irrational demands for a wall; without trading the rights of immigrants to seek justice and not be ripped apart from their families. Every human being deserves to be treated with dignity and respect, and it is time for our national leaders to maintain those values as they continue negotiating with Trump.”
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.