Washington, DC — The Defund Hate Coalition issued the following statement in response to the Trump administration’s request for massive funding increases for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in response to Covid-19:
The administration’s request to Congress to increase funding for ICE with $249 million to convert four facilities into dedicated quarantine facilities and CBP with $567 million for nine quarantine facilities is immoral, puts lives at risk, and further illuminates the racist, anti-immigrant agenda fueling this administration — most notably and cruelly during a global health crisis.
People locked up in immigration detention are extremely vulnerable to the spread of infectious disease due to their deprivation of liberty, deteriorating health while in detention, and worsening of the already deplorable conditions inside detention during a time of crisis. Furthermore, medical standards developed and implemented by ICE and CBP have proven inadequate time and again leading to preventable deaths of people in their custody. In no uncertain terms, ICE and CBP have proven repeatedly that they are not capable of caring for people in their custody.
Public health experts have recommended reducing prison and detention populations — people in ICE and CBP detention need to be released now. ICE also must halt enforcement operations so that communities can focus on their families’ health and seek medical care without fear.
Congress must reject the White House’s request for more ICE and CBP money and prioritize taxpayer dollars on the expansion of treatment for all rather than wall off and detain immigrants, putting lives in further jeopardy. Members of Congress must fight to protect the immigrant community and call for the immediate release of people in detention while advocating for significant cuts in funding to the abusive and deadly agencies.”
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.