1. Action Alert
  2. Immigrants & Refugees

Administration’s Request for Additional Funding Ignores Humane Solutions

By Gabriela Viera, May 3, 2019

This week, the administration filed a supplemental appropriations request asking for an additional $4.5 billion to address the humanitarian crisis at our southern border. This money will not fund real humane solutions and humanitarian assistance; it will expand migrant detention and double down on harmful enforcement.

Detention is not the Solution

We cannot enforce our way out of a broken system. Most of this supplemental request would fund even more detention beds, including unaccountable facilities to detain children. Continuing to spend billions of dollars detaining children and families will not solve this crisis. It will worsen it.

Congress must instead invest in cost-effective alternatives that respect the rights and dignity of each migrant. Our outdated enforcement system has only exacerbated the trauma migrants face. We must reform our system of detention. FCNL welcomed the re-introduction of the Dignity for Detained Immigrants Act (H.R. 2415/S. 1243), which promotes a comprehensive shift away from punitive incarceration towards community-based alternatives to detention as the primary response to vulnerable populations arriving at our borders.

We’ve Been Here Before

The supplemental request was no surprise. The administration did not get all its requests in the last funding negotiations and has sought other ways to acquire this funding—yet again trying to circumvent Congress’ official allocations. 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 spending levels going forward.

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.

Call on your members of Congress to stop fueling runaway enforcement policies with supplemental funds, and instead invest in real solutions.

Gabriela Viera

  • Program Assistant, Immigration & Refugee Policy

Gabriela Viera served as the Program Assistant for Immigration and Refugee Policy for 2018-2019.