Washington, D.C. – In a C-SPAN interview, Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf outlines plans to request additional DHS funding for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS).
The Defund Hate Coalition issued the following statement:
“The comments from Secretary Wolf for an increase in funding for DHS comes after two people held in ICE detention have died of complications from COVID-19. More than half the people tested for COVID-19 in ICE custody have tested positive, but instead of releasing people from detention to limit their possibility of exposure, ICE continues to put people’s lives at risk.
In his comments asking for additional funding for DHS, Sec. Wolf makes special mention of the need to supplement fee decreases at USCIS as a cover to funnel hundreds of millions more to ICE and CBP to continue carrying out mass enforcement. Before the pandemic, USCIS had already implemented several policies that resulted in a sharp decrease in applications, like the new Public Charge Rule and changes to Visa processes. This budget shortfall is the inevitable result of these cruel policies, and immigrants are paying the price.
Additionally, just last year a proposed new rule sought to transfer over $100 million from USCIS to step up ICE enforcement, further emphasizing the importance of including strong transfer restrictions. ICE and CBP budgets should be cut, not padded, and any supplemental money provided by Congress to USCIS must come with serious guardrails against transfers between agencies like ICE and CBP.”
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.