Congress Must Send a Clear Message: Taxpayer Dollars Will Not be Used to Support an Anti-immigrant Agenda

For Immediate Release: 
Thursday, March 16, 2017

Washington, DC  Today, the White House asked Congress to cover the costs of President Trump’s immigration executive orders. In addition to billions already allocated for immigration enforcement, taxpayers would be footing the bill for an extra $3 billion to fund the president’s border wall and deportation force, including more border agents and a request for 45,700 immigration detention beds in total.

Silky Shah, co-director of Detention Watch Network issued the following statement in response to the administration’s request to Congress:

“This is a chance for Congress to say ‘no’ to Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda. His rhetoric, executive orders and decision to appoint notorious proponents of xenophobia and anti-immigrant ideology leave no question that he is waging a hate-fueled attack on immigrants and people of color. Now he is looking to Congress and taxpayers to finance it.

Today’s supplemental budget request of $3 billion would significantly increase the number of people locked up in America’s unjust and unaccountable immigration detention system. Trump’s blueprint will in all likelihood greatly support his billionaire friends in the private prison industry – essentially, writing notorious companies like The GEO Group, Inc. and Corrections Corporation of America (recently rebranded as CoreCivic) a blank check to make more money off of suffering and family separation.

The supplemental request would also dramatically expand the deportation force, growing the ranks of often mismanaged and nontransparent ICE and Border Patrol agents.

Congress has the choice to fund Trump’s detention and deportation force or save taxpayer dollars for policies and projects that will strengthen our communities. This is a defining moment for members of Congress – they must draw a line in the sand, firmly resisting Trump’s agenda.”


Detention Watch Network (DWN) is a national coalition of organizations and individuals working to expose and challenge the injustices of the United States’ immigration detention and deportation system and advocate for profound change that promotes the rights and dignity of all persons. Founded in 1997 by immigrant rights groups, DWN brings together advocates to unify strategy and build partnerships on a local and national level to end immigration detention. Visit Follow @DetentionWatch.