#DefundHate Coalition Responds to #TrumpShutdown, Calls on Republicans and Democrats to Reject Trump’s Demands

For Immediate Release: Saturday, December 22, 2018

Washington, DC — Last night, Trump and Republicans shut down the government over Trump’s hateful border wall.

While Trump is holding the government hostage in order to continue his attacks on immigrant communities, we are calling on Democrats and Republicans in Congress to reject Trump’s demands and pass a clean continuing resolution (CR) that does not include funding for a border wall or an increase in funding for the deportation agencies of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) that operate with near impunity.

Thirteen members of the Defund Hate coalition issued the following statements:

Sanaa Abrar, Advocacy Director, United We Dream:

“Like he promised, Trump shut down the government so he could carry out his hateful, anti-immigrant policies. For us, this debate has never been just about a wall, it’s about keeping families together, keeping Black and brown people out of detention and keeping people and children from dying at the hands of these agents. It is about Claudia Gonzalez, Jakelin Caal, Rosa Maria Hernandez and so many more. Republicans and Democrats in Congress must reject Trump’s demand to increase any funding for the deportation agencies of ICE and CBP who are in the business of hurting and killing our immigrant communities.”

Mary Small, Policy Director, Detention Watch Network:

“The Trump administration is again using a shock and awe tactic, this time over his hateful border wall and willingness to force a government shutdown. We will not allow him to drown out the millions of voices across the country who have clearly rejected his anti-immigrant agenda, and instead share a vision for a more just society. Members of Congress must heed the voices of their constituents and vote no while also demanding significant cuts in the new Congress to funding for ICE and CBP, agencies with egregiously poor conditions, a lack of accountability and a culture of violence that results in system-wide abuses, including death.”

Kathryn Johnson, Policy Advocacy Coordinator, American Friends Service Committee:

“As thousands of migrants continue to wait in Mexico, denied their right to migrate or to seek asylum, and tens of thousands more languish in abusive and deadly detention centers in the U.S., it is unconscionable that the Trump administration is shutting down the government to demand more money for the agencies that make these abuses possible. Communities of faith and conscience are rising up at the border and across the country to demand that these destructive systems be defunded, not given billions more.”

Vicki B. Gaubeca, director of the Southern Border Communities Coalition:

“The president wanted to shut down the government, and he got his wish. Walls are deadly, harmful and wasteful, and do nothing to make us safer. So far, Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi have stood strong against Trump’s bullying tactics and we urge them, as well as other members of Congress, to continue to listen to the voices of borderlanders and resist Trump’s destructive wall. The southern border is a place of hope and opportunity, not fear and conflict. It is one of the safest regions in the country, rich with culture, commerce and growth. We stand ready to work with legislators to ensure that border communities are not jeopardized by any further militarization of the region.”

Stosh Cotler, CEO, Bend the Arc: Jewish Action:

“It is shameful that President Trump has pushed us to a government shutdown. But the actions of this out of control white nationalist president should surprise no one. He’s made it clear that he does not care that most voters do not want an unnecessary, costly border wall that will cause further harm to immigrant communities who have been targeted relentlessly and cruelly by this administration. Instead of responding to voters–who overwhelmingly voted for a change in this country’s leadership–Trump chooses to play to his base with a divisive white nationalist agenda that aims to dismantle America’s promise as a nation of immigrants and opportunity for all.”

Heidi Altman, Policy Director, National Immigrant Justice Center:

“With each day we learn of fresh abuses committed by ICE and CBP agents. It is appalling that the Trump organization has chosen to shut down our federal government in an attempt to force Americans to pay for more abusive enforcement and a wall Americans have overwhelmingly rejected. We hope that the new year will bring opportunities for accountability and justice for communities under attack by a lawless executive branch.”

Richard Morales, Program and Policy Director, LA RED, a campaign of Faith in Action:

“The President demonstrates once again that he is willing to go to absolute extremes to move forward his violent and harmful anti-immigrant agenda, this time in the form of the border wall. The American public clearly rejected his anti-immigrant agenda and people of faith and immigrant communities have spoken loud and clear, we want Congress to intervene and hold ICE and CBP accountable for traumatizing and terrorizing our immigrant siblings by cutting their funding.”  

Lorella Praeli, Deputy Political Director, American Civil Liberties Union:

“Congress has an obligation to serve as a check on the executive branch, and the Senate upheld that obligation today. ACLU members and activists across the country demanded that their elected representatives deny DHS a raise for its abuse of immigrants and block wasteful money for a harmful border wall. Let there be no misunderstanding: this government shutdown is due solely to Trump’s border wall obsession, and his refusal to abandon his anti-immigrant agenda, even at the cost of denying hundreds of thousands of federal workers holiday paychecks. As negotiations continue, Congress should hold their ground against the border wall, stand up for border and immigrant communities across the country, and continue to reject Trump’s extortionate demands  in any future funding negotiations.”

Angel Padilla, National Policy Director, Indivisible Project:

“Trump and Republicans today shut down the government over their racist and wasteful border wall. We heard it directly from his mouth that this shutdown is a mess entirely of his doing. By doing so, Trump is ignoring the will of the voters who just a few weeks ago overwhelmingly rejected his party and his anti-immigrant agenda. Trump has spent the last two years setting fire to our democracy and to our country, and immigrant families have borne the brunt of it. The progressive grassroots support Democrats who are fighting back against Trump. The shutdown was entirely avoidable and nearly a million Americans will go without pay as a result of Trump’s most recent meltdown. Fortunately, Democrats will soon be back in control of the House and will quickly move to re-open our government.”

Raul E. Garcia, Senior Legislative Counsel, Earthjustice:

“Border communities as well as Federal workers and their families — including those who maintain and preserve our iconic national parks — shouldn’t have to live in fear at the holidays because of President Trump’s childish pursuit of a useless, dangerous and hateful border wall. Members of Congress, including many of those in President Trump’s own party, rejected his wall. They did so because they understand that walls are lethal to our people and our wildlife, destroy nature, habitats, and resources, and betray the fundamental values we hold dear in our country. Congress must continue to stand up to Trump’s shutdown. Let’s pass a clean government funding bill and send President Trump’s wall to the trash bin.”

Isabel J. Sanchez, National Policy Advocate, CHIRLA:

“Shutting down the government for a vanity wall is one more symptom of a grave illness called Donald Trump.   The President is unhinged and he will go to extremes to please his base at the expense of all Americans. But let’s be very clear about one thing:  Americans have spoken and the President’s hateful and anti-immigrant policies will not stand.”

Patrice Lawrence, National Policy and Advocacy Director, UndocuBlack Network:

“Black immigrants are on the frontline of the abuse of this administration’s racist immigration policies. A government shutdown and the funding of the wall make our communities even more vulnerable. From the horrific experiences of detained Black Mauritanians in Ohio, East Africans chained and abused in detention and subsequently deported to the detention of queer Black asylum seekers. Black immigrant families continue to be separated from each other at the border and the Muslim ban. The termination of TPS and DED threatens the future of many in our community. We know that more money will only increase the abusive power of ICE and CBP.”

Heidi Hess, Co-Director CREDO Action:

“Republicans just threw the entire country under the bus to appease Trump’s racist tantrum. Forcing a government shutdown and freezing pay for hundreds of thousands of federal workers right before Christmas and New Years shows yet again that Republicans are incapable of governing. But their hostage taking tactics will only work if Democrats cave. Now is the time for Schumer and Pelosi to make good on the promises they have made to stand with immigrants. If they cave even an inch on wall funding or any part of Trump’s racist agenda, we will hold them accountable in the streets, at their offices and the ballot box.”


The #DefundHate campaign, composed of organizations representing directly impacted communities, faith leaders, and civil rights and immigrant rights advocates, is committed to divestment from agencies that tear apart our families and terrorize our communities. For too long, our representatives have said they care about our communities while simultaneously funding aggressive immigration enforcement and deadly immigration jails. They must be held accountable to keep their promises and stand with the immigrant community. We call on our members of Congress to say no and vote against wasting taxpayer dollars on an abusive and deadly immigration enforcement system. We want our tax dollars used to strengthen our families and communities by investing in education, housing, nutrition and health care programs that provide opportunity and increase well-being.

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