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Statement of Mary Meg McCarthy, executive director, National Immigrant Justice Center

The National Immigrant Justice Center is deeply disappointed in congressional Republicans’ continuing obstruction of efforts to achieve a permanent solution for immigrant Dreamers, keep families together, and end the suffering individuals in our communities who are being targeted by the Trump administration’s deportation machine. With the omnibus fiscal year 2018 budget passed last night, Congress continues its irresponsible spending of taxpayer money to expand the border wall and build prisons.

We appreciate the efforts of those members of Congress who fought against this administration’s anti-immigrant agenda, and successfully held the line on some key aspects of the president’s Department of Homeland Security budget requests. Thanks to their commitment to American families and justice, the new budget is far from the victory the Trump administration hoped it would be. But any expansion of an already bloated and inhumane detention and deportation system, or extension of the destructive southern border wall, means more harm to American families and communities.

As Congress looks ahead to spending measures for fiscal year 2019, they should be on notice that an increasing number of Americans are heeding the call to defund DHS’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). In just the past month, The Nation, The Washington Post, and Vox all have covered the growing movement to abolish ICE. The #DefundHate movement has gained significant momentum in recent months, as Americans grow wary of Congress spending tax dollars on a detention and deportation regime whose harm is becoming more apparent with each unjust arrest.

Join the movement and take action to keep the pressure on our elected officials to hold the Department of Homeland Security accountable for its abuses by cutting its resources to further militarize and harm immigrant communities.