Defund Hate Campaign Responds to Axios Article on ICE’s Budget
Washington, DC — On Thursday, Axios reported that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) plans to transfer and reprogram funding to compensate Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)’s alleged shortfall of $345 million taxpayer dollars in Fiscal Year 2022. In response, the Defund Hate Campaign, which is made up of 63 organizations comprising directly impacted communities, faith leaders, and civil rights and immigrant rights advocates, released the following statement:
“ICE is a deadly agency that has wreaked havoc and caused pain on immigrant communities. ICE gets billions in funding all while there are continued reports of widespread abuse of people in their custody,” said Juliana Nascimento, Deputy Director of Federal Advocacy at United We Dream. “No one should have to live with the fear of detention and deportation, but we live in a world where in many parts of the country ICE works with local governments to turn a routine traffic stop into the possibility of detention and deportation. ICE has a history of misusing funds. Instead of giving them more money, Congress should focus on funding our lives, including providing funding for community-based programs that live up to our values of welcoming people who are immigrants.”
“Every year, ICE wastes billions of taxpayer dollars by surveilling immigrant communities, deporting people seeking safety, and incarcerating immigrants in deadly detention centers. It is unacceptable for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to transfer or reprogram any amount of funding for the abusive operations of this agency with an already bloated budget of $8.1 billion,” said Gabriela Viera, Advocacy Manager at Detention Watch Network. “As witnesses to the daily violence that ICE inflicts on our communities, we demand President Biden and members of Congress condemn this money grab. Just yesterday, four women courageously filed a civil complaint against a male nurse inside an ICE detention center in Georgia for sexual assault. No amount of funding ever has or ever will fix ICE because this abuse is endemic to the agency. It has repeatedly shown to callously disregard people’s dignity, health, and safety, in addition to Congressional spending authority. The agency must be defunded.”
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. Instead, 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.