Detention Watch Network Condemns Trump’s Anti-Immigrant FY 19 Budget

For Immediate Release: 
Monday, February 12, 2018

Washington, DC — Today, the Trump administration released their proposed budget for fiscal year 2019. Trump is asking taxpayers to support massive cuts to  social and environmental programs while allocating billions of dollars to put more people behind bars and ramp-up the deportation force that will rip people from their families and tear communities apart.

“Trump’s proposal is a clear reflection of this administration’s anti-immigrant agenda guiding its every move,” said Mary Small, policy director at Detention Watch Network. “The out-of-control, reckless and dangerous nature of this proposal values police state infrastructure over the well-being, safety and dignity of communities nationwide.” 

Trump’s budget calls for:

  • Massive increases in immigration detention. Documents currently available request both $2.5 billion to detain 47,000 people per day and $2.7 billion to detain 52,000 people per day. Both are cruel and unwarranted expansions of an already-failing system, and the discrepancy points to how made-up and ideologically-driven the numbers are.
  • A whopping $1.6 billion for a needless, offensive, and costly wall, in addition to other harmful border militarization funding.
  • $782 million to hire and support 750 additional Border Patrol agents and 2,000 additional Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents, agencies notorious for their lack of accountability and corruption. The focus on ICE agents is an indication that the Trump Administration is seeking to continue its ramp up of enforcement within communities nationwide, including DACA recipients, TPS holders and other long term community members.

“This budget dramatically expands the deportation force, surveillance dragnet and unjust immigration detention system,” said Small. “Particularly troubling is the doubling down on increasing ICE resources despite its clear track record of egregious abuse and even death. ICE’s fiscal mismanagement, culture of secrecy and systemic abuse are compelling evidence to divest from the agency, not increase its funding.”

As Congress evaluates the federal budget and undergoes open negotiations on immigration this week, the fight to prevent Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda from being funded is more dire than ever before.

“For far too long, our representatives have said they care about immigrant communities while simultaneously funding aggressive immigration enforcement and deadly immigration jails,” added Small. “They must be held accountable to keep their promises and stand with the immigrant community.”


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.