Washington, DC — On Friday, the White House made a supplemental funding request of $105 billion, including a $13.6 billion in border supplemental, doubling down on a policy of hyper militarization and incarceration that makes our communities less safe. Most of the funding is designated for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and while it provides some crucial humanitarian aid, a majority of the remainder of the request is for military resources through the Department of Defense (DOD).
In response, Detention Watch Network issued the following statement:
“With back to back supplemental funding requests by the White House that would dramatically increase Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) already astronomical budgets, the cowardice of the Biden administration continues to reach new heights.
In September, nearly 200 national, state, and local organizations representing millions of people across the country wrote to members of Congress urging them to heed the demands of their constituents and reject the White House’s supplemental funding and reprogramming requests issued in August for increased immigration detention, enforcement and surveillance operations within DHS. Now, the White House has issued a new request that includes $2.5 billion for ICE, more than tripling the previously requested amount, and $5.3 billion for CBP.
Specific to ICE, the funds requested, would:
- Increase immigration detention levels
- Increase deportations, including the use of expedited removals
- Fund new programs that would facilitate the surveillance and deportation of families, as well as re-institute a new form of family detention
Militarizing our borders and incarcerating migrants has never made our communities more safe, and neither has propagating this agenda abroad. The $14 billion in funding also requested for Israel will amplify the dehumanization, ethnic cleansing, and massive humanitarian crisis enveloping 2.2 million people in Gaza. Detention Watch Network is in solidarity with Palestinians and our many partners and allies in demanding an immediate ceasefire and that members of Congress vehemently reject this funding request.
Every person has the right to feel safe and move and live freely with dignity and respect. We condemn Islamophobia, anti-semitism, and all forms of racism, which we understand to be at the root of the U.S.’s shameful reliance on military and law enforcement in the face of human needs.
The abolition of immigration detention is part and parcel of struggles against racism, xenophobia, discriminatory policing, mass incarceration, border militarization, and our aims coincide with these broader struggles against racialized oppression.”
Detention Watch Network (DWN) is a national coalition building power through collective advocacy, grassroots organizing, and strategic communications to abolish immigration detention in the United States.