1. Update
  2. Immigrants & Refugees

Rejecting Cruelty as a Policy Solution

By Jessie Palatucci, July 9, 2019


Congress must break the status quo by divesting from enforcement spending and investing in true humanitarian assistance.

We have all witnessed the cruel and inhumane treatment of our immigrant neighbors. We’ve seen the tears of parents who still cannot locate the children who were forcibly taken from them. We’ve read about asylum seekers being indefinitely incarcerated. We’ve heard from families who are living in terror, waiting for the next wave of ICE raids.

'Time and time again, the administration has requested more money for harmful immigration enforcement policies—and Congress keeps giving it to them.'

The attacks on our immigrant neighbors have been unrelenting, and last month our hearts were broken once again.

It started with reports of small children being held in deplorable conditions at a border station in Clint, Tex.—some for a month or longer. The public outcry was swift. The children were relocated, but days later more than 100 were moved back. We know that these conditions are not restricted to a single facility.

Then came the shocking image of a father and daughter who drowned while attempting to cross the Rio Grande. Oscar Alberto Martinez Ramirez died as he tried to bring his 23-month-old daughter, Angie Valeria, to safety in the U.S.

These stories are devastating. They are also a direct result of this administration’s immigration policies, which deter asylum seekers with cruelty, leave migrants facing inhumane conditions, and make a dangerous journey even more deadly.

This unimaginable suffering is a feature of our current approach on immigration. It’s not a bug.

Time and time again, the administration has requested more money for harmful immigration enforcement policies—and Congress keeps giving it to them. They did so again as recently as June 27, passing a supplemental spending bill. While the legislation provides some humanitarian relief, it fails to adequately guarantee the money will be used to protect children, not further militarize our border. We must demand better.

Congress is in the midst of deciding how much money to spend on immigration enforcement for the coming fiscal year. These remain contentious issues, and your members of Congress need to hear from you as they craft their FY2020 spending bills. Act now. Urge congress to invest in true humanitarian assistance and divest from detention and border militarization.

Action Alert Rejecting Cruel Immigration Policies 

There is a humanitarian crisis at our Southern border - one of separated families and detained asylum seekers. It is a crisis of walls and migrant deaths. The U.S. government has responded by pouring billions into an enforcement system that is worsening the crisis.

Legislative Ask Stop Fueling Unjust Deportation, Detention & Border Policies  

There is a humanitarian crisis at the U.S. southern border: one of immigrant children separated from their parents and migrants dying as they seek refuge. There is a crisis of walls built through communities and of refugee families detained in camps on military bases. The Trump administration is now jailing more than 53,000 people in increasingly fatal conditions.

Jessie Palatucci

  • Senior Digital Communications Manager

Jessie Palatucci manages FCNL’s digital advocacy program and web communications. She writes extensively for FCNL’s digital publications and communicates with advocates throughout the U.S.