Washington, DC — Today, Tuesday March 13, immigrant activists will deliver over 130,000 petition signatures gathered by American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), CREDO, Detention Watch Network (DWN) and MoveOn to demand that Members of Congress #DefundHate by publicly calling for significant cuts in funding to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Patrol (CBP), and fight against any funding bill which wastes taxpayer dollars on this unaccountable and abusive immigration enforcement system.
Activists delivered the petitions to lead appropriators and Congressional leadership as Congress is currently negotiating funding for the rest of this fiscal year ahead of the March 23rd funding deadline. In the spending bill, Trump and Republican leaders are requesting $21.5 billion to ramp up the detention and deportation machine. This massive increase in funding would result in 500 new Border Patrol agents, 1,000 new ICE agents, over 51,000 detention beds, the expansion of the failed 287g program, and $1.6 billion for the border wall and another billion for increased border militarization.
ICE and CBP are responsible for egregious abuse and even death, and efforts to defund these agencies continue to gain traction in Congress as communities across the country demand that their elected officials stand with immigrants and reject Trump’s racist agenda.
“ICE and CPB have time and again demonstrated their failure to respect human rights,” said Kathryn Johnson, Policy Advocacy Coordinator for the American Friends Service Committee. “Through our years of work along the U.S.-Mexico border and with immigrants targeted for detention and deportation across the country, we’ve witnessed the devastating consequences of unaccountable and unchecked enforcement. Congress cannot keep paying for these abuses.”
“ICE and CBP are Donald Trump's shadow armies,” CREDO Campaign Manager Nicole Regalado said. “Their agents are enforcing his racist anti-immigrant agenda and locking up activists who speak out against it,” she continued, adding “members of Congress who care about the future of our democracy should stand up for the people of color being terrorized by Trump and defund these rogue deportation forces immediately.”
“ICE and CBP’S track records of abuse are long-standing, well documented and overwhelming,” said Danny Cendejas, Organizing Director of Detention Watch Network. These agencies have proven to community members and Members of Congress alike that they cannot be trusted and should never be afforded the benefit of the doubt by Congressional appropriators and oversight committees.”
The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) is a Quaker organization that promotes lasting peace with justice, as a practical expression of faith in action. Drawing on continuing spiritual insights and working with people of many backgrounds, we nurture the seeds of change and respect for human life that transform social systems. Learn more at http://afsc.org or follow @afsc_org
CREDO Action, part of CREDO Mobile, is a social change network of over five million activists, sending tens of millions of petition signatures and hundreds of thousands of phone calls to decision-makers each year. CREDO Action members also participate in meetings, protests and other direct action for progressive change.
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 www.detentionwatchnetwork.org. Follow @DetentionWatch.