52,000 people in detention as Congressional Leadership meets over DHS funding

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Washington, DC — This week Congressional leaders are negotiating over supplemental funding for accounts across the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). While there is bipartisan support for much-needed relief for disaster-affected communities, Congress is also weighing support for an expansion of the detention and deportation system.

On Monday news broke that Trump’s deportation force is currently detaining over 52,000 people, significantly surpassing the current budget that Congress has authorized. Details of how this rapid expansion was carried out are still unclear.

The Defund Hate Coalition issued the following statement urging Congress to reject the supplemental funding:

“We reject calls for any additional funding for ICE, CBP, or other agencies involved in immigrant detention and processing, who already have bloated budgets to carry out the Trump administration’s mass deportation campaign.

“Although the request from the Trump Administration is cloaked in humanitarian language, the suffering of migrants at the border and immigrants in communities all across the country will be exacerbated, not alleviated, by granting this funding.

“CBP and ICE, in particular, have a well documented track record of human rights abuses, racial profiling, and family separation. Just this month, 21-year-old Simratpal Singh died in ICE custody and 16-year-old, Carlos Gregorio Hernandez Vasquez died in CBP custody. Another expose, out just yesterday, details the prolonged but ultimately unsuccessful efforts of a DHS whistleblower to address the abusive use of solitary confinement.

“Members of Congress must reject additional funding for ICE and CBP and instead call for answers to the rapid expansion of detention and accountability for the loss of life in custody, while demanding significant cuts in funding to ICE and CBP once and for all.”


The Defund Hate 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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