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This legislative ask is designed to be shared with your members of Congress and their staff.

In just three years, the annual budget for immigration detention has grown by more than half. Border communities have had land stolen for border wall construction, and their neighborhoods have been further militarized. The administration has used an inflated enforcement budget to separate families, jail children, and illegally deny entry to asylum seekers.

Congress must limit the president’s ability to transfer funds and end inhumane deportation, detention, and border militarization.

Even with historically high budgets appropriated by Congress, the administration has also unilaterally expanded the deportation budget by billions more dollars at the direct expense of disaster relief, homeland security priorities, and investments for service members and their families.

Congress needs to insist the U.S. abandon this failed approach and enact guardrails to hold the administration accountable to protecting human life. As members of Congress develop the fiscal year 2021 (FY21) spending bills, it is imperative that they ensure that U.S. tax dollars stop fueling cruel and ineffective immigration policies. Congress’ spending bills must instead:

  • End unaccountable detention, deportation, and border militarization expansion. Spending billions of dollars annually on enforcement tears families apart, fuels environmental damage, and leaves vulnerable children and individuals unprotected.

  • Invest in non-restrictive, community-based alternatives to detention. Strengthen access to asylum, rather than locking more people up and out. Congress should defund policies like the misleadingly-named Migrant Protection Protocols and instead invest in robust case management programs that support individuals pursuing asylum without jailing them.

  • End overspending on detention and walls by prohibiting inappropriate transfers. The administration consistently overspends beyond what Congress allocates. Congress should cancel the Department of Homeland Security’s authority to transfer money from other agencies into detention and enforcement programs. It should prohibit the administration from using unrelated accounts for unauthorized border wall construction.

Contact: Amelia Kegan, amelia@fcnl.org 

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