Inhumane policies Biden condemned on campaign trail are now cornerstones of his immigration response
United States – Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced additional “sweeping measures” for the end of an insidious Trump-era border policy implemented under the guise of public health. After three years of irrevocable harm and delayed termination, the use of Title 42 is finally scheduled to end today. People seeking refuge for themselves and their families deserve compassion and due process, yet the Biden administration has made clear they plan to respond with swelling investments in militarization, incarceration, and deportation.
As a presidential candidate, Joe Biden denounced family detention, private immigration detention facilities, border wall construction, and bars to asylum, yet these policies are now cornerstones of Biden’s deterrence-oriented immigration agenda. For FY24, President Biden has requested nearly $25 billion for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), an increase of almost $800 million over the 2023 enacted level.
The Defund Hate campaign, a coalition of groups that analyze and advocate for decreased funding to ICE and CBP, offers the following statement:
“This was an opportunity for the Biden administration to chart a different course and establish the fair and humane immigration system they had promised. As Congress considers draconian legislation that would further entrench inhumane border policies like incarcerating migrant families for longer periods of time and expanding border wall construction, we are dismayed to see that the administration has abandoned immigrants and people seeking asylum by instead affirming the manufactured need to take a punitive approach. However, people across the country are rejecting this bipartisan ‘border security’ framework. It’s clear that increased militarization at our borders does not keep communities safe — it further exposes immigrants to violence and harm when they are already most vulnerable, and pits communities against each other.
Visions for a better immigration system exist. Defund Hate’s Beyond the Enforcement Paradigm calls attention to how the existing U.S. immigration enforcement infrastructure is a structural barrier to positively transforming the immigration system. The recommendations we outline illustrate a vision for reprioritizing resources to create a more supportive landscape for an immigration system that welcomes, respects, and honors the rights and dignity of all people. We urge the Biden administration and members of Congress on both sides of the aisle to meet the material needs of communities rather than politicize people’s movements.”
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.