Tell your Representative to Defund Hate

Update

Mere weeks before Congress is set to return from August recess and debate funding for government agencies including Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP), ICE is making a move to steal funds from other agencies just like they did in 2018.

ICE uses its “transfer and reprogramming authority,” which is its ability to take funds from other agencies within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), to expand its detention and deportation activities. That’s one reason that a key ask for the Defund Hate campaign is to prohibit ICE and CBP from raiding other agency's accounts by specifically including language in the DHS funding bill that blocks this practice.

It is unacceptable that ICE is subverting Congress’s authority to decide how much funding they should receive. That they are doing so in order to expand their abuses, such as conducting raids like the one that separated families in Mississippi or caging people indefinitely in concentration camps, makes it even worse. That’s why we need Democrats to fight back in September by ending ICE’s transfer and reprogramming authority once and for all.

You can fight back by telling your Members of Congress (MoC) to:

- Publicly denounce and formally “non-concur” with DHS’s transfer and reprogramming notification.

- Release the full text of the transfer and reprogramming notification, so that we know exactly where the money being transferred to ICE is coming from.

- Pass a fiscal year 2020 spending bill that finally puts an end to DHS’s ability to manipulate the appropriations process to expand the immigration detention and deportation systems. 

 

Call your MoC!

ICE wants to steal money from other agencies again this year to expand their detention and deportation activities. This is exactly why we need to Defund Hate—call your Representative and Senators and tell them to reject ICE's money grab!

Get the Script!

The biggest fight on immigration this year will be over funding

The biggest fight on immigration this year will be over funding. While Democratic control of the House has given us a firewall against some of the worst Republican attacks, Trump’s attacks against immigrants continue. He shut down the government for over a month in an effort to get his hateful wall, and has already requested billions more for ICE and CBP in next year’s budget, “FY20.” He hopes to use the money to pay for his wall, more ICE and CBP agents, and more cages for immigrant families.

Fortunately, the Constitution gives Congress—not the White House—the sole power to appropriate money. That means that Democrats can define the terms of this debate through the appropriations process.

What is the Defund Hate Campaign? The Defund Hate Campaign is a coalition of immigrant rights and progressive organizations that have been working for two years to get Congress to reduce funding for ICE and CBP, the two agencies most responsible for tearing apart immigrant families. Co-chaired by two of our closest partners, Detention Watch Network (DWN) and United We Dream (UWD), the coalition seeks to divest from immigration detention and enforcement, and invest in programs that we actually need, like health care and education. Indivisible is a proud member and partner of the Defund Hate Campaign. You can read more here.

What local Indivisible groups can do to Defund Hate

There are actions that any group can take to support the Defund Hate Campaign, depending on who their Member of Congress (MoC) is. Here are a few things you can do.

For Every MoC

Every MoC can sign the letter led by Reps. Jayapal, Pocan, Castro, and Chu calling on the House Appropriations Committee to #DefundHate. Funding for immigration enforcement has exploded under Trump, and his administration has used this money to separate, cage, and tear gas families, and to terrorize communities. House Democrats must act during this year’s appropriations process to reduce funding to the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and Customs and Border Protection back to its Obama-era levels, and to rein in the worst abuses of these agencies.

If your MoC is an Appropriator

If your MoC sits on the Appropriations Committee in the House, then they are going to be the ones making the decisions over funding levels for both ICE and CBP. That means you have a lot of power to influence the outcome.

Here are two specific asks you can make:

  1. Demand that funding for ICE and CBP be cut to “FY16” levels. Funding levels for ICE and CBP have have dramatically increased since the agencies were created in 2003—yes, even under Obama. But under Trump, the increases have been striking. For example, detention has exploded by about 50% under Trump. Now that Democrats have retaken the House, they should demand cuts that would at the very least bring us back to Obama-era funding levels. Cutting to “FY16” means bringing funding for these agencies down to what they were at the end of fiscal year 2016, the last of the Obama years. That is just a first step toward defunding these agencies for good.

  2. Tell them to get rid of the $387 million slush fund for Trump. The first draft of the bill included $387 million for ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO)—money that Trump will use to fuel his deportation machine. Tell your MoC to support an amendment that would strip this money out of the bill.

If your MoC is Not an Appropriator

Even if your MoC doesn’t sit on the Appropriations committee, they can still have a meaningful impact on the process. The most important thing that they can do is to commit to voting against any funding bill that increases funding for ICE and CBP enforcement. Their most powerful tool is their vote and they should use it to protect immigrant families.