The Defund Hate Campaign is led by a coalition of organizations that represent directly impacted immigrant communities, faith leaders, and civil and immigrant rights advocates.
We are committed to divestment from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP), agencies that tear apart loved ones and harm our communities. Instead, we want our tax dollars used to strengthen our families and communities. We are committed to investment in education, housing, green infrastructure and health care programs that create thriving communities.
Our elected officials say they care about our communities but, at the same time, they choose to fund immigration enforcement, deadly immigration jails and border militarization. Members of Congress must vote against wasting taxpayer dollars on the abusive and deadly immigration enforcement system. They must be held accountable. They must show up for the immigrant community.
The right to be treated with dignity and the rights to family unity, freedom and wellness should not be contingent on one’s place of birth. Yet for too long, immigrants living in American communities have suffered under a cloud of fear of detention or deportation based on arbitrary raids and racial profiling.
The federal government spends billions of dollars each year on immigration enforcement rooted in racial bias that spreads fear and uncertainty in immigrant communities. For centuries, laws around immigration have been created to keep specific populations out of the United States or to profit off of their incarceration. From the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, to laws that criminalize crossing or re-crossing the border, to a 1996 law that further punishes over-policed immigrant communities, the list of tactics to incarcerate and deport immigrants has continued to grow.
ICE and CBP demand more money every year to fund increased militarization at the border and in U.S. cities, more detention beds, and escalating enforcement operations in the interior. In addition, these agencies have raided the accounts of agencies such as the Federal Emergency Management Administration and the Coast Guard. As a result, U.S. taxpayers are paying billions of dollars to lock up immigrants and asylum seekers in a detention system known for conditions so punishing that immigrants and asylum seekers are engaging in hunger strikes, and suicide attempts are increasingly common. Much of this money goes to enrich for-profit prison corporations.
Every time ICE and CBP have demanded money, Congress has handed it over. Even after it has come to light that these agencies are taking money from other vital government programs, Congress has failed to place limits on their ability to continue siphoning money.
As a member of the Defund Hate campaign, NIJC calls on Congress to stop funding the hateful policies enacted by ICE and CBP, and instead invest that money into communities, using tax dollars to provide better schools, green infrastructure, and robust health and nutrition programs. We recognize that there is a better way to welcome people into the country, including community-based programs with proven positive outcomes.