Washington, DC— A year after the Defund Hate campaign warned Congress that increasing funding for Customs and Border Protection (CBP) under an emergency supplemental bill would result in wasteful spending rather than improved care for migrants at the southern U.S. border, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) revealed that is exactly what happened.
In an audit decision issued on June 11, 2020, the GAO found that instead of spending the $112 million allocated by Congress under a 2019 emergency supplemental appropriations bill to pay for medical care and other supplies to care for migrants, the agency instead used it to buy dirt bikes and ATVs, security cameras, dog supplies, and other unrelated goods.
The Defund Hate campaign released the following statement in response to the GAO decision:
“The Defund Hate campaign for years has been exposing how the billions of tax dollars Congress gives to CBP and Immigration and Customs Enforcement—including funding specifically directed for ‘humanitarian aid’—is in fact being used to expand these agencies’ surveillance and militarized policing of our communities. In 2019, at least seven children died following CBP apprehension — yet the agency spent the money that was designated for medical care on surveillance equipment and dog supplies. We hope that as Congress negotiates funding in the coming year, it heeds the lessons in this report from its own watchdog agency. Neither CBP nor ICE can be trusted to have the well-being of asylum seekers or any migrants in mind when it spends taxpayer money. It’s time to defund CBP and ICE.”
The #DefundHate campaign, composed of organizations representing directly impacted communities, faith leaders, and civil rights and immigrant rights advocates, is committed to divestment from agencies that tear apart our families and terrorize our communities. For too long, our representatives have said they care about our communities while simultaneously funding aggressive immigration enforcement and deadly immigration jails. They must be held accountable to keep their promises and stand with the immigrant community. We call on our members of Congress to say no and vote against wasting taxpayer dollars on an abusive and deadly immigration enforcement system. Instead, we want our tax dollars used to strengthen our families and communities by investing in education, housing, nutrition and health care programs that provide opportunity and increase well-being.