Advocates Urge Democrats to Reject Reckless Spending Bill

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 19, 2017

CONTACT
Email: media@nilc.org
Juan Gastelum, 213-375-3149
Hayley Burgess, 202-384-1279

Frelinghuysen Rubber-Stamps Trump Deportation Machine;
Advocates Urge Democrats to Reject Reckless Spending Bill

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee, chaired by Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ-11), marked up and approved an appropriations bill yesterday that funds key elements of President Trump’s proposed immigration budget. The bill provides full funding of $1.6 billion for Trump’s “border wall,” as well as $185 million to hire additional U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Border Patrol officers, staffing up the president’s “deportation force.” It also provides $4.4 billion for detention and removal programs, including funding to expand by more than 4,600 the capacity of detention camps that house children and families.

The bill Frelinghuysen shepherded through the committee fully funds the Trump budget’s “deportation force” with spending to hire an additional 1,500 ICE and Border Patrol officers. It also fully funds Trump’s border wall request and his budget to militarize local law enforcement agencies as immigration enforcement auxiliaries in 26 additional communities. In total, the Frelinghuysen-led bill would provide 99.5 percent of Homeland Security funding requested by the Trump budget.

This provides a substantial down payment on the president’s proposal to increase immigration enforcement funding by $23.5 billion. Trump’s budget also proposes hundreds of billions of dollars in cuts over ten years to health care and nutrition programs, anti-poverty initiatives, and other programs that provide housing, clean water, energy conservation, the arts, and other priorities.

Responding to the planned committee debate, the National Immigration Law Center released the following statement from Policy Analyst Jackie Vimo:

“President Trump is out of control, and Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen is rubber-stamping his radical immigration enforcement budget. Trump wants billions of your tax dollars to rip families apart, and he’ll fund that deportation machine with deep cuts to education, environmental protection, and health care.

“The $1.6 billion this bill wastes on Trump’s wall could cover more than a million uninsured children. The $185 million it spends to build Trump’s deportation force would triple the highly effective Energy Star program, helping consumers save money, protecting children and families from power plant pollution, and improving the reliability of America’s power grid. The $4.4 billion it spends to jail kids and families could provide nutritious meals to nearly 5 million children under the National School Lunch Program.

“The federal government already spends more money detecting, detaining, and deporting immigrants than on all other federal law enforcement efforts combined. But instead of investing in kids and families, Rep. Frelinghuysen is helping Trump supersize an already bloated immigration enforcement budget.

“America faces real, serious problems. But rather than solve them, President Trump wants to create new ones with a deportation machine designed to tear families apart. And with Rep. Frelinghuysen rubber-stamping Trump’s plan, the ball is now in the court of the Appropriations Committee’s Democrats. We urge them to reject Trump’s radical, anti-immigrant agenda and build a budget that funds families, not fear.”

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