1. Legislative Ask
  2. Immigrants & Refugees

No More Dangerous Walls or Detention Beds

By Hannah Graf Evans, October 9, 2019

The administration is responding to a refugee crisis by creating a humanitarian one – separating families, jailing children, and deporting asylum seekers to their deaths. Congress has poured billions more into the machinery behind detention, deportation, and border militarization – yet the administration is overspending even with these inflated levels.

Congress intended for the number of beds in detention to decrease to 40,000 by Sept. 30, 2019. The Trump administration is now jailing more than 50,000 people in increasingly fatal conditions at the direct expense of disaster relief, the Coast Guard, and other homeland security priorities. They are stealing money from schools for military families to build additional border walls. Congress must insist that the U.S. abandon this failed approach.

As members of Congress make fiscal year 2020 funding decisions, it is imperative that they ensure our tax dollars stop fueling cruel and ineffective immigration policies. Congress’s spending bills must instead:

Congress must cancel the administration's transfer authority, which expands immigrant detention, deportation, and the border wall without congressional consent.

  • End overspending on detention and walls. The administration has overspent billions beyond what Congress allocated on sometimes fatal policies. Congress should rein in the Department of Homeland Security’s authority to transfer money from other agencies into harmful detention and enforcement programs. It should prohibit the administration from stealing money from military families for border wall construction.

  • Reject increased spending on detention, deportation, and border militarization. Increased funds for enforcement tears families apart and leaves vulnerable children and individuals unprotected.

  • Invest in non-restrictive, community-based alternatives to detention and strengthen access to asylum, rather than locking more people up. Case management programs support individuals navigating the legal system without jailing them. A pilot Family Case Management Program was 99 percent effective in helping people show up to hearings and win their asylum cases.

FCNL Contact: Hannah Graf Evans, hannah@fcnl.org

Values Driven Immigration Policy

The Friends Committee on National Legislation (Quakers) is led by the call to welcome the stranger and seeks congressional immigration reforms that recognize the gifts, contributions, and struggles of immigrants to ensure equity and justice for all.

Our nation’s immigration policies should:

  • Keep families together

  • Bring accountability and community engagement to border policies

  • Create a path to lawful status and citizenship

  • Protect all workers, regardless of immigration status

  • Align immigration enforcement with humanitarian values

  • Preserve the human and civil rights of all immigrants

  • End mass incarceration of immigrants

  • Uphold international and U.S. law obligations to protect refugees, asylum seekers and survivors of human trafficking

Hannah Graf Evans

  • Former Legislative Representative, Immigration and Refugee Policy

Hannah Graf Evans led FCNL's lobbying for compassionate immigration and refugee policies, with a particular focus on detention practices, the rights of border communities, and protection of vulnerable communities. Hannah served as co-chair of the Interfaith Immigration Coalition steering committee for three years.