Trump’s Latest Attacks Against Immigrants

Trump is ramping up his attacks against immigrant families. Over the last few days we’ve some of the most disturbing attacks yet against immigrants and their families. We’ve seen the Department of Justice argue in court that the U.S. Government isn’t required to provide toothbrushes or soap to children in its custody. We’ve seen Trump threaten to arrest millions of immigrants in nationwide raids. We’ve seen reports that hundreds more children have been separated from their parents, even though Trump’s family separation policy is supposedly over. 

Once again, Trump is holding immigrants hostage in order to advance his agenda. Trump is now demanding that Congress give him more money for DHS and make drastic changes to asylum laws—changes that will make it harder, if not impossible, for refugees and asylum seekers to obtain relief in the U.S.—or he’ll follow through with nationwide raids. Remember, this is classic Trump hostage-taking:

  • Trump sabotaged the ACA in order to force Congress to pass ACA repeal

  • Trump held Dreamers and TPS holders hostage as a way of forcing Congress to make extreme changes to the U.S. immigration system

  • Trump shut down the government and held federal employees hostage for a record 35 days in order to get his border wall 

Fortunately, Democrats now control the House of Representatives, which means we have more ways of defending those under direct attack by Trump.

Democrats have an obligation to fight back

It’s no surprise that Trump continues to attack immigrants; it’s what he’s done from day one. The biggest difference now is that Democrats control a chamber of Congress, which means they have more power to hold Trump accountable for his abuses. Here are three things that Democrats can do right now to fight back:

  1. Oppose any additional funding for DHS. Trump has requested billions of dollars more for ICE and CBP, the agencies tearing families and communities apart. Here’s the bottom line: every dollar DHS gets, it uses to expand enforcement and deportation. If Congress gives DHS, it will be giving it more capacity to harm families. We ask Democrats to oppose the DHS supplemental funding request. 

  2. Cut funding for ICE and CBP. Instead of increasing money for DHS, Democrats should use their power in Congress to do the opposite: cut funding for ICE and CBP. Unfortunately, the draft budget for DHS in the House would increase money for ICE and give trump a massive slush fund to use to cage more families. Check out our resource here. 

  3. Don’t pay Trump’s ransom. Trump has been trying for two years to make extreme changes to our nation’s immigration system that will reduce diversity and prevent families from being reunited. Democrats need to resist Trump’s extortion efforts.

How do we improve conditions for families?

The hard truth is that the safety of immigrant families will continue to be in jeopardy as long as Trump is in the White House. The best we can do now is try to mitigate the harm his policies cause and push Democrats to use more of their power to hold Trump accountable. By cutting funding for ICE, we hope to reduce the number of people that get picked up and deported. By cutting funding for detention facilities, we hope to close down the tent cities and concentration camps we’ve seen expand under Trump. 

Investments we can make to deal with the border crisis. Our partners at the National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) have put together a helpful resource of five investments that we can make if we’re serious about dealing with the border crisis.

Divesting from ICE and CBP in order to make those investments. The fact is that Trump doesn’t need any more money in order to make the investments that would actually address the problems at the border. The fact that he was about to launch nationwide raids the week of June 24, 2019 demonstrates that DHS has plenty of money; it just isn’t using it the way it should. Congress is responsible for deciding how we spend our money, and it has the power to direct DHS to shift money away from enforcement and into humanitarian programs. For example, Congress can force DHS to halt ICE raids in order to pay for additional medical supplies at the border; and Congress can instruct ICE to release thousands of individuals needlessly held in detention and place them into community-based alternatives to detention. 

The point is that Congress doesn’t need to give Trump more money. It can simply force him to use the money he already has more effectively and humanely.

Call your MoC THIS WEEK and tell them to Defund Hate. Tell them to: vote NO on the border supplemental. Giving DHS more money gives it more capacity. More capacity means more families harmed.