Demos Joins Letter to Congress to Oppose President Trump's $4.5 billion Request for Mass Deportation Agenda

Demos Joins Letter to Congress to Oppose President Trump's $4.5 billion Request for Mass Deportation Agenda

June 5, 2017
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Dear Chairman Cochran, Vice Chairman Leahy, Chairman Frelinghuysen and Ranking Member Lowey:

We, the undersigned, immigrant rights, civil and human rights, faith-based, environmental, labor and women’s organizations write to ask you to oppose President Trump’s request for $4.5 billion to fund his executive orders that would fund the construction of a divisive border wall, expand his deportation force and immigration detention and lower accountability for immigration and border agents. We therefore urge you to significantly reduce funding for immigration enforcement and detention in the FY2018 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of Justice (DOJ) appropriations bills until the Administration can demonstrate that there is prioritization and accountability at the agencies.

We can no longer treat funding immigration enforcement as business as usual. It is the stated goal of the President of the United States to deport millions of immigrants. Trump and his appointees have eliminated all prioritization and discretion from the system. There is no room for consideration of a person’s equities, including length of time living in the U.S., U.S. citizen children or ties to their communities. Through the expansion of expedited removal and truncated asylum processes, DHS is undermining due process and deporting people with humanitarian claims. By unleashing this force with virtually no limitations, the Administration has fostered an unprecedented climate of fear among immigrants, their families and their communities.

President Trump has laid out his vision for mass deportation through three executive orders that seek to create a Muslim ban, supercharge interior enforcement, coerce local law enforcement to enforce immigration law, and dramatically expand detention. But he can’t fully implement his agenda unless Congress appropriates the funding. In this new era, every dollar appropriated for immigration enforcement is a dollar that moves the President closer to his goal of banning, deporting and excluding immigrants in the United States. We call upon members of Congress to stand with immigrants and oppose this funding that would enable the President’s merciless and indiscriminate deportation machine. 

At current funding levels, the consequences of President Trump’s DHS is chilling: 

  • Fewer women are reporting sexual assault and domestic violence across the country, and are less willing to go to the police.1 Houston saw a 40% drop in reports of rapes this year from the same period last year.2 Los Angeles saw a 10% drop in reports of domestic violence among Latinos and 25% drop in reports of sexual assault.3 In Denver, fear of deportation has caused some witnesses of violent crimes to skip court, ultimately allowing several cases to be dropped and suspects to walk free.4 In Montgomery County, Md., calls for sexual assault and domestic violence have dropped by 50% compared to last year.5

  • In likely violation of treaties the US has signed and international human rights law , child refugees fleeing the threat of murder are being denied even a basic credible fear hearing.6

  • Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) are entering courthouses and arresting women seeking protection from domestic violence.7

  • DHS Secretary Kelly has publicly stated that he plans to use mass detention as a deterrent of future illegal immigration, a violation of the 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.8

  • In February, ICE agents conducted an “early morning ambush,” apprehending a handful of men as they left a hypothermia shelter at a church in Alexandria, VA.9

  • At least five DACA recipients reportedly have been detained and at least one deported.10

At close to $19 billion a year, the United States already spends more on immigration enforcement than all other law enforcement agencies combined. Congress should not fund President Trump’s executive orders that will further his mass deportation regime that indiscriminately targets all undocumented immigrants, including long-time residents with deep ties to the United States.

In this environment, every dollar appropriated for ICE and CBP agents, fugitive operations and immigrant jail space directly contributes to the President’s goal. These dollars are funding the tools that rip families apart, that spread fear and distrust in our communities and sacrifice real public safety for demagoguery. Rather than tearing families apart, implementing mass incarceration and creating fear in our communities, we believe that scarce taxpayer funds should be spent on building up communities, investing in families and promoting growth and economic security. The President’s mass deportation plan is targeting precisely those immigrants who the vast majority of Americans--9 out of 10--support granting permanent legal status as part of immigration reform. Our nation needs solutions to our immigration system that benefit our country rather than wasting billions of taxpayer dollars on enforcement that hurts public safety and our economy. 

Sincerely,

National

Adjunct Justice
African American Ministers In Action (AAMIA)
Alliance for Citizenship 
America’s Voice Education Fund
American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee
American Civil Liberties Union
American Immigration Lawyers Association
Amnesty International USA
Asian Americans Advancing Justice - AAJC
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO (APALA)
Asian Pacific Institute on Gender Based Violence
Black Alliance for Just Immigration
Capuchin Franciscan Province of St. Joseph, Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation Office Catholic Charities
Center for American Progress
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Refugee and Immigration Ministries
Church World Service
Coalition on Human Needs
Codepink
Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES)
Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement (CIVIC)
Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd, US Provinces
Council on American Islamic Relations
Demos
Detention Watch Network
Earthjustice
Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM)
Faith in Public Life
Farmworker Justice
Food Empowerment Project
Franciscan Action Network
Friends Committee on National Legislation
HIAS
Hispanic Federation
Immigrant Legal Resource Center
Indivisible
Interfaith Worker Justice
International Rescue Committee
Jewish Voice for Peace
Jobs With Justice
Justice Strategies
Latin America Working Group 
Latino Victory Fund
Leadership Conference of Women Religious
League of United Latin American Citizens
Medical Mission Sisters
Mi Familia Vota
MomsRising/MamásConPoder
Muslim Public Affairs Council
National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd
National Alliance to End Sexual Violence
National Black Justice Coalition
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development (CAPACD)
National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA)
National Council of Churches
National Council of Jewish Women
National Council of La Raza
National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON)
National Employment Law Project
National Immigrant Justice Center
National Immigration Law Center
National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild
National Justice for Our Neighbors
National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC)
National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health
National Latina/o Psychological Association
National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund
National Network to End Domestic Violence
National Partnership for New Americans
National Tongan American Society
National Wesleyan Church
National Women’s Law Center
Network Lobby for Catholic Social Justice
Nicaragua Center for Community Action
Our Revolution
Partnership for Working Families
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
Provincial Council Clerics of St. Viator (Viatorians)
Queer Detainee Empowerment Project
Service Employees International Union (SEIU) 
SEIU Local 2015 Advisory Committee
Sisters of the Precious Blood
SiX Action
South Asian Americans Leading Together
Southeast Asian Resource Action Center (SEARAC) Southern Border Communities Coalition UndocuBlack Network
Unitarian Universalist Association
Unitarian Universalist Service Committee
Unitarian Universalist Refugee & Immigrant Services & Education (UURISE) United Church of Christ, Justice and Witness Ministries
United Farm Workers of America
United Food and Commercial Workers International Union
United Methodist Church, General Board of Church and Society
United We Dream
Voto Latino
W. Haywood Burns Institute
We Belong Together
Women's Refugee Commission
YWCA USA 
 
State and Local
Abuse Counseling and Treatment Inc.
Acting in Community Together in Organizing Northern Nevada (ACTIONN) Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice
Alianza
Alliance San Diego
Allies of Knoxville's Immigrant Neighbors (AKIN)
Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence
Arkansas Coalition Against Sexual Assault
Arkansas United Community Coalition
Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Atlanta
Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Chicago
Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Los Angeles
Asian Community Development Council
Asian Law Alliance
Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council
Asian Services In Action
Atlas: DIY 
Austin Tan Cerca de la Frontera
Cabrini Immigrant Services of NYC
California Coalition Against Sexual Assault
California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation
Campbell Adult and Community Education
Casa Latina
Casa de Maryland
Catherine Cobb Safe House
Catholic Charities of West TN
Catholic Committee of the South
Causa Oregon
Center for Abuse and Rape Emergencies, Inc.
Center for Latino Progress (CPRF)
Central American Resource Center D.C. (CARECEN)
Central Pacific Conference of the United Church of Christ
Centro Latino Americano
Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin America (CRLN)
Child & Family Services of Southwestern Michigan, Inc.
Christ United Methodist Ministry Center
Church of Our Saviour/La Iglesia de Nuestro Salvador
Church Women United in New York State
Cleveland Jobs with Justice
Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA)
Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition
Colorado Licenses Committee
Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto
Community Resources of Fayette County, Inc.
Connecticut Alliance to End Sexual Violence
Connecticut Bail Fund
Connecticut Immigrant Rights Alliance
D.C.-Maryland Justice for Our Neighbors
Dolores Street Community Services
Dominican Sisters, Grand Rapids
East Tennessee Jobs with Justice
El Centro de Igualdad y Derechos
El Monte Wesleyan Church
Encuentro New Mexico
End Domestic Abuse WI
Equality California
Erie Neighborhood House
Farmworker Association of Florida, Inc.
Florida Council Against Sexual Violence
Franciscans for Justice
Franciscan Peace Center
Friends of Broward Detainees
Friends for Democracy
Gethsemane Lutheran Church
Grassroots Alliance for Immigrant Rights
Grassroots Leadership
Greater New York Labor-Religion Coalition
Greater Rochester Coalition for Immigration Justice
Hana Center
Hilton Head for Peace
Hispanic American Community Education and Services (HACES)
Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama
Hope Border Institute
Huerto de la Familia
Human Rights Initiative of North Texas
Iglesia del Nazareno
Immigrant Defenders Law Center
Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project
Immigrant Legal Center of Boulder County
International Institute of New England
Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault
Jane Doe Inc., the Massachusetts Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Jewish Family Service of San Diego
Justice for Our Neighbors Southeastern Michigan
Kentucky Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights
Kino Border Initiative
Korean Resource Center
La Unión del Pueblo Entero (LUPE)
Las Cruces Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement (CIVIC)
Latin America Solidarity Organization
Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund
Latinas Unidadas por un Nuevo Amanecer Iowa (LUNA)
Long Island Jobs with Justice
Louisiana Foundation Against Sexual Assault
Lowcountry Immigration Coalition
Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault
Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault
Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Michigan Coalition to End Domestic & Sexual Violence
Migrant and Immigrant Community Action Project (MICA)
Migrant Rights Collective
Mission Graduates
Missouri Immigrant and Refugee Advocates
Mixteco/Indigena Community Organizing Project
Mujer, Inc.
Nebraska Appleseed Center for Law in the Public Interest
Nebraska Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence
New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice
New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault
New Mexico Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs, Inc.
New Mexico Immigrant Law Center
New Sanctuary Movement of Philadelphia
New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault
North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault
North Carolina Council of Churches
Northern Illinois Justice for Our Neighbors
Northern Valley Catholic Social Service
Northwest Immigrant Rights Project
Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence
OneAmerica
OneJustice
Orange County Communities Organized for Responsible Development Pangea Legal Services
Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape
Philadelphia Japanese American Citizens League
Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada
Project HELP, Inc.
Public Counsel
Rape Crisis Center
Rape Crisis Center of Summit and Medina Counties
Reformed Church of Highland Park
Refuge House, Inc.
Refugio del Rio Grande
Rhode Island Interfaith Coalition to Reduce Poverty
San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program, Inc.
San Luis Valley Immigrant Resource Center
School Sisters of Notre Dame, CP Corporate Responsibility Committee Scott Shelter Society
Services, Immigrant Rights, and Education Network (SIREN) Sisters of Charity of New York
Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, Institute Justice Team Sisters of Mercy West Midwest Community
Sisters of St. Francis, Justice Peace and Integrity of Creation Commission Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities
Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, JPIC Committee
Skagit Immigrant Rights Council
South Asian Fund For Education,Scholarship and Training (SAFEST)
South Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Southern California Immigration Project
St. John of God
St. Joseph Valley Project Jobs with Justice
Survivors, Inc.
Survivors of Torture, International
Tennessee Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence
Texas Association Against Sexual Assault
Texas Organizing Project
Unidad Latina en Acción (ULA)
Unitarian Universalist Church in Meriden, Social Justice Council Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of New Jersey United for a New Economy
University Leadership Initiative
Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence
Vida Legal Assistance Inc.
Virginia Coalition for Immigrant Rights
VN TeamWork, Inc.
Washington Defender Association's Immigration Project
Wind of the Spirit Immigrant Resource Center
Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault
Women Helping Women
Women’s Center, Inc.
Women's Center of Jacksonville
Women's Resource Center, Inc.
Worker Justice Center of NY, Inc.
Young Immigrants in Action 
 
End Notes:
 
Jennifer Medina, “Too Scared to Report Sexual Abuse. The Fear: Deportation.”, The New York Times , April 30, 2017.
 
Brooke A. Lewis, “HPD chief announces decrease in Hispanics reporting rape and violent crimes compared to last year”, Houston Chronicle , April 6, 2017.
 
3 “LAPD: Fear of Deportation Keeping Latinos From Reporting Sex Crimes”, CBS Los Angeles , March 22, 2017.
 
4 Heidi Glenn, “Fear of Deportation Spurs 4 Women To Drop Domestic Abuse Cases in Denver”, NPR , March 21, 2017.
 
5 Medina, “Too Scared”
 
6 Caitlin Dickerson and Miriam Jordan, “‘No Asylum Here’: Some Say U.S. Border Agents Rejected Them’”, The New York Times , May 3, 2017.
 
7 Tom Steele, “El Paso Officials Say Domestic Violence Victim Was Arrested Inside Courthouse”, Dallas News , February 6, 2017.
 
8 Samantha Schmidt, “DHS is Considering Separating Mothers and Children Who Cross the Border Illegally”, The Washington Post , March 7, 2017.
 
9 Jasmine Norwood, “Alexandria Man Detained by ICE Speaks Out, Worship Leaders Work to Stop Raids”, DCW50 TV , February, 20, 2017.
 
10 Daniel Ramirez Medina : Nicole Chavez and Rosa Flores, “ICE Releases Seattle ‘Dreamer’ Daniel Ramirez Medina”, CNN, March 29, 2017. Daniela Vargas : Christine Hauser, “A Young Immigrant Spoke Out About Her Deportation Fears. Then She Was Detained”, The New York Times, March 2, 2017. Edwin Romero : Diane Smith, “Dallas County ‘Dreamer’s’ Arrest Puts Scare in Immigrant Rights Community”, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, February 22, 2017. Josue Romero : Jason Buch, “One-time DACA recipient facing deportation in S.A. released”, My San Antonio, February 17, 2017. Francisco Ramirez : Francisco Ramirez, “I Have DACA, But That Didn’t Stop Trump’s Immigration Agents from Arresting Me”, Williamette Week, April 5, 2017. Juan Manuel Montes : Alan Gomez, “Homeland Security Now Acknowledges Deported Dreamer Had Status”, USA Today, April 19, 2017.