(Washington D.C., Thursday, May 23, 2019) – The Trump Administration recently asked for an additional $4.5 billion to address the humanitarian crisis at our southern border. This is on top of the $49.9 billion current budget for the entire Department of Homeland Security. Most of this supplemental request would fund draconian border enforcement, including facilities to detain children and families.
Continuing to spend billions of dollars detaining children and families will not solve this crisis. In fact, it will only worsen and prolong it. However, Congress is ignoring cost-effective community-based alternatives that respect the rights and dignity of each migrant. An outdated enforcement system, building more border walls, and detaining more migrants are not the right answers to effectively tackling our country’s worsening immigration policies.
The Trump administration did not get all its requests in the last funding negotiations and has sought other ways to acquire this funding. This supplemental request is an attempt to circumvent Congress’ official allocations for FY2020. Now in the process of deciding how much money to appropriate for our nation’s immigration priorities in 2020, Congress’ response to this request will influence future spending levels.
The Friends Committee on National Legislation is against any increase in funds for immigration programs. Every year, Congress has supported the continued expansion of harmful immigration enforcement through increased funding for detention, deportation, and border militarization. FCNL will continue to oppose this approach and advocate for decreased spending in favor of robust oversight and reforms. We cannot allow our government to continue enforcing harmful policies in the name of humanitarian aid.