- Legislative Ask
- Immigrants & Refugees
The real crisis at the border is deportation, detention, and walls.
There is a crisis at the U.S. border: a moral crisis of immigrant children separated from their parents as they seek safety. There is a crisis of walls through communities and of refugee families detained in camps on military bases. There is a humanitarian crisis, created by military troops deployed in border communities and an illegal ban on certain asylum seekers.
Reject increased funding for immigration enforcement. Invest in alternatives to detention and expanded accountability.
The U.S. government pours $25 billion annually into the underlying machinery that is worsening these crises. In the past two years, Congress has added $3 billion more to fund border militarization and barriers. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) jailed a record 49,000 people this February, paid for by money meant for the Coast Guard and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). We need a comprehensive shift away from detention as part of long overdue reforms.
In the short term, Congress should immediately focus on legislation that:
- Rejects increased spending on detention, deportation, and border militarization. Government spending should protect families and end unjust immigration and border policies.
- Expands oversight of existing enforcement policies and spending. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is funding 9,000 detention beds in excess of what Congress allocated, at the expense of other agencies. Congress should rein in DHS authority to transfer money into detention when alternatives exist.
- Invests in non-restrictive, community-based alternatives to detention, rather than locking up more children and others. Case management programs support individuals navigating the legal system outside of restrictive custody. A pilot Family Case Management Program, ended in 2017, was 99 percent effective in encouraging individuals to show up to hearings.
Values-Driven Immigration Policy
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The Friends Committee on National Legislation (Quakers) is led by the call to welcome the stranger and seeks congressional immigration reforms that ensures equity and justice for all by recognizing the gifts, contributions, and struggles of immigrants.
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. legal obligations to protect refugees, asylum seekers, and survivors of human trafficking.