Dear Member of Congress,
I’m joining with moms, dads, and concerned people around the country to call on Congress to exert their authority over the funding decisions regarding the treatment of immigrant families.
Government inspectors have documented the inhumane treatment of immigrant children and families by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and that the Trump Administration doesn’t even know the precise number of children separated from their parents because it failed to track families as they were being separated. Children and adults are dying in the custody of ICE and CBP. Children in detention centers are held in cages, sleeping on concrete floors, and denied toothbrushes.
This is immoral and Congress must use its spending powers to hold ICE and CBP accountable. As you head into budget negotiations this month, we demand that you stand up against these human rights abuses.
We urge Congress to:
- Reduce funding for deportation, detention, and border militarization; support funding for refugee resettlement and asylum. When determining federal appropriations for FY2020, we urge Congress to reduce funds for CBP and ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations, and refuse to provide any additional funding for a border wall or the creation of new or expanded detention centers.
- Keep families together and invest in alternatives to detention. We call for the immediate end of family detention and urge Congress to increase funding for less costly, more efficient community-based alternatives to detention, operated by non-profits.
- Exert robust oversight over detention and uses of federal funding, including terminating DHS’s authority to transfer and reprogram funds from critical programs like FEMA and military construction for the purpose of detention and enforcement.
- Terminate the “Migrant Protection Protocol,” or MPP program, an unlawful and shameful program that returns asylum seekers to Mexico to await their court date; there are more than 100 publicly reported cases of rape, kidnapping, and assault against asylum seekers forced to return to harm through this program.
We do not want our hard-earned tax dollars to go towards funding the separation of families and mistreatment of immigrant children. We call on Congress to use these funds to boost the education, nutrition, and healthcare of all families, rather than abusing and traumatizing immigrant children and families.