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In a speech dominated by anti-immigrant rhetoric, President Trump announced today he would sign a bill to temporarily re-open the federal government and end the longest shutdown in U.S. history. Under the bill, the government will reopen until February 15 while negotiations over immigration spending continue.

NIJC Executive Director Mary Meg McCarthy issued the following statement:

“The National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) is grateful that thousands of federal workers will be allowed to return to work and receive payment for the work they have been doing during this shameful and historical shutdown. We are thankful for the members of Congress who stood strong to oppose a dangerous border wall and new spending for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP). As negotiations continue over how taxpayers’ money is spent in our country’s immigration system, we are counting on members of Congress to stand up for our communities. Now is the time for elected officials to insist that money goes to support our communities’ wellbeing, not to ICE or CBP or any enforcement or prison infrastructure that puts people’s lives at risk and violates America’s obligations to uphold human rights.”

NIJC joins our partners in the Defund Hate Campaign in demanding that Congress:

  1. Cut funding for abusive and wasteful immigration enforcement. Specifically, this means decreasing funds for ICE and CBP and spending not one penny on any border barrier construction.
  2. Create real accountability for federal spending by prohibiting the Trump administration from raiding other accounts—through transfers or reprogramming—to increase funds available for the wall, immigration detention, and other anti-immigrant programs.
  3. Demand a commitment from Trump, as a key part of good faith negotiations, that he will not invoke a national border emergency, or otherwise undermine Congress’ constitutional “power of the purse” by unilaterally seizing funds from other government accounts toward construction of a wall or any other physical barrier.