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Media Inquiries

Contact NIJC Communications Director Tara Tidwell Cullen at (312) 833-2967 or by email.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 21, 2024) – Congress released its Fiscal Year 2024 funding bill for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) today; the bill will make the detention and border enforcement system more dangerous and deadly while under-resourcing civil society and communities that provide respite and integration services to newly arriving immigrants. 

Jesse Franzblau, senior policy analyst at NIJC, said in response to the proposed bill: 

“The proposed funding bill for DHS includes increased detention beds, more border agents, and an increase in harmful border surveillance technology. Meanwhile, Congress is proposing to slash funding for the government grant program that funds localities and nongovernmental organizations to provide humane reception services for people who have recently arrived in the United States.”

“This bill moves in a tragically inhumane direction on immigration policy by starving civil society and communities of urgently needed funds to provide crucial services, while further filling the pockets of private prison CEOs. We call on members of Congress to vote NO on this funding bill that would favor detention and punitive enforcement over a fair immigration system.”

Specifically, the bill: 

  • Increases the budget for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention from $2.9 billion to $3.4 billion, a wasteful and tragic use of taxpayer dollars to expand a system of jails and private prisons that continues to cause grave harm, including abusive solitary confinement practices; 
  • Increases funding for additional Border Patrol agents, despite persistent documented abuse, impunity and corruption within the agency; 
  • Increases funding for ICE’s surveillance- and enforcement-based monitoring programs, despite documentation of the harms caused by these programs and the availability and efficacy of alternative community-based service-oriented models; and
  • Decreases from $800 million to $650 million the grant program available to localities and civil society organizations who are providing frontline care, shelter, and transportation to people newly arriving in the United States seeking safety.