ACLU Statement on House Bill to Fund Department of Homeland Security

July 18, 2017 3:45 pm

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WASHINGTON — The House Appropriations Committee is considering today the annual funding bill for the Department of Homeland Security. The bill is full of provisions that would increase funding for immigration enforcement.

“This bill would fund President Trump’s discriminatory deportation force and border wall,” said Lorella Praeli, director of immigration policy and campaigns at the American Civil Liberties Union. “This bill sets the stage and paves the way for Trump’s unconstitutional agenda to deport millions of immigrants living in and contributing to our country. Expanding the detention and deportation of immigrants tears families apart and makes communities less safe without fixing our immigration system. Congress should reject this bill.”

The bill increases funding for immigration enforcement by more than $2 billion and provides resources to hire 1,000 additional Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and 500 Border Patrol agents.

“The bill also increases already wasteful border-security spending by $1.6 billion, much of which would go toward the construction of Trump’s unnecessary and harmful border wall,” said Praeli. “Border communities are some of the safest in the country, yet continue to suffer from numerous DHS abuses, including dozens of fatal incidents in this decade alone. The Trump budget would squander billions more on further militarizing the border and denying protection to families and children fleeing violence.”

The additional funding would also add 10,000 new beds to immigration detention facilities, increasing the total number to 44,000.

“With an immigration detention system already riddled with civil rights abuses, the last thing we need are additional jail beds for immigrants and families to be subjected to inhumane treatment,” Praeli said.

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