Tell Congress to redirect funds away from deportations, detention and border militarization. The Department of Homeland Security is wasting billions of dollars in taxpayer money by carrying out inhumane deportations that separate families and sweep up Dreamers and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders. Every day, tens of thousands of people — including asylum seekers and undocumented immigrants — are detained by ICE. Congress should redirect wasteful funding away from border enforcement and the border wall, which cuts through wildlife and native lands. The over-militarization of the region deeply impacts the well-being of U.S. border communities.
TO CONGRESS: Act humanely and redirect funds away from deportations, detention and border militarization.
We urge Congress to act humanely and be responsible with taxpayer dollars by redirecting funds away from deportations, detention and border militarization:
Congress should uphold the values of family unity and show compassion to the most vulnerable among us by redirecting funding away from the Department of Homeland Security for carrying out deportations that are separating families and sweeping up Dreamers and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders. Arrests by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have increased dramatically, including for individuals whose only offense is being undocumented. ICE agents are not exercising discretion but are targeting anyone who is undocumented.
Congress should act humanely and responsibly by redirecting funding away from immigrant detention and end mandatory detention, particularly for asylum seekers, children, the elderly, the disabled and pregnant women. Every day, tens of thousands of people — including asylum seekers and those whose only offense is being undocumented — are detained by ICE though they pose no flight risk or threat to public safety. Congress appropriates enough money to maintain 34,000 detention beds; ICE is now detaining an average of 41,000 people per day, and the administration wants to increase this to 51,000 beds. Each adult detention bed costs an average of $126.46 per day and family beds cost $161.36. The total annual cost for detention is more than $2 billion. Alternatives to detention, such as community-based release, are more humane and also more cost-effective.
Congress should redirect unnecessary and wasteful funding away from border enforcement and refuse to approve additional funds for the border wall, which would cut through wildlife refuges, require the seizing of private property, infringe on the sovereignty of native lands and further militarize already over-militarized border communities. Statistics show that unauthorized crossings are at their lowest level in 45 years, making such funding unwarranted.
The U.S. spends more than $18 billion per year on immigration enforcement, more than all other federal law enforcement agencies combined. The southern border region is home to some 15 million people and is among the safest communities in the country, with crime rates well below the national average. The dramatic militarization of the region has already stifled the economic vitality and overall well-being of U.S. border communities.