Press Releases

Friday, March 23, 2018

Congress Votes to Fund Trump Administration’s White Nationalist Agenda

Press Release
Washington

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH) today condemns Congress for voting to pass an omnibus spending bill for the 2018 fiscal year that would fund mass detention and deportations, and be detrimental to the health, safety, and well-being of immigrant families. Ann Marie Benitez, senior director of government relations at NLIRH, issued the following statements:

This “must-pass” government-funding legislation is another bipartisan failure to protect Dreamers.

“Our community has been waiting anxiously for a DACA fix since President Trump ended the DACA program on September 5, 2017. This was the responsibility of Senate and House leadership and we demand they prioritize ending the separation of our mixed-status families and grant relief to Dreamers. We continue to press the urgency of the passage of a clean Dream Act.”

The negotiation process failed to decrease detention beds.

“ICE is already overspending and wrongfully using taxpayer funds allocated to them. While we welcome greater congressional oversight and accountability on ICE, we believe ICE will not choose to diminish their increased detainment of immigrants and will continue to use congressionally chartered funds to  separate families and further Trump’s deportation machine. An additional $370-million-dollars to expand the immigrant detention bed system, including funding for over 40,000 beds, is an increase in beds nonetheless and sets the baseline for the next budget fight.

DHS is gaining 125 new staff personnel, and a 16 million dollar increase over Fiscal Year 2017 funding levels.

“In funding more staffing for deportations of our community members and families, the 65 Homeland Security Investigations agents and 60 ICE attorneys will provide more capacity for the quicker processing of deportations. While the administration’s ask was staggering in comparison, these personnel hires are a significant increase, and put our communities in danger.”

The Administration is getting the 1.6 billion dollars requested to build 33 new miles of fencing wall.

“While there are limitations to building a concrete wall, fencing is just as damaging as concrete wall to the Rio Grande Valley border communities and environment. This funding is a waste of government spending that would be better invested in healthcare for people or in schools for the education of our children.”

“As a reproductive justice organization that advocates for access to healthcare and immigrant rights, the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH) is deeply disappointed with the passage of the omnibus bill for the reasons outlined above,” Benitez added. “We find it unacceptable that Congress would pass a spending bill that funds Trump’s white nationalist agenda to target and persecute immigrant families. Our communities deserve better from our elected officials. We call on Congress to stop policies that further police and militarize our communities.”

For more information on NLIRH’s fight for health, dignity and justice, visit us at latinainstitute.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter @NLIRH.

###

The National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health is the only national reproductive justice organization dedicated to building Latina power to advance health, dignity, and justice for 28 million Latinas, their families, and communities in the United States through leadership development, community mobilization, policy advocacy, and strategic communications.