Washington Wastes More Money Criminalizing Immigrants, While Keeping Dreamers in Limbo

March 21, 2018

Hayley Burgess, [email protected]

Washington Wastes More Money Criminalizing Immigrants, While Keeping Dreamers in Limbo

WASHINGTON — After weeks of intense negotiations, the U.S. House of Representatives has reached an agreement to fund the federal government for six months. The $1.3 trillion proposal includes funding for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to hire several dozen Homeland Security Investigation agents. The proposal also earmarks $1.6 billion for border security measures and funds the hiring of 135 new immigration agents and attorneys.

Absent from these proposals is any effort to provide temporary or permanent immigration relief to immigrant youth who have or may be eligible for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. Below is a statement from Kamal Essaheb, the National Immigration Law Center’s policy and advocacy director.

“Our government already spends more money to track, detain, and deport established and contributing members of our communities than it does for all other federal criminal law enforcement combined. This proposal throws more money at a problem that doesn’t exist. It would increase resources for the criminalization of people, without providing any real benefit in terms of public safety or investment to better our immigration system.

“And, in doing so, this proposal furthers the Trump administration’s race-driven mission to terrorize immigrants and communities of color, to tear families apart, and to deport millions of people who are integral to their communities.

“Despite Trump’s constant tweets about DACA, this agreement makes clear that his priorities lie in getting his border wall built, not in protecting immigrant youth, who are once again left out of this must-pass legislation.

“And the truth is that if Trump had had his way, this bill could have been much worse. The unrelenting efforts of advocates and community members fighting alongside our immigrant communities have largely stifled, for now, attempts to further militarize the border and supercharge President Trump’s mass deportation machine.”