This is a time of moral crisis for our nation. President Trump, his cabinet, and customs and border patrol agents intentionally harm, degrade and terrorize immigrants and asylum seekers in the United States and at the U.S.-Mexico border. This is immoral and unacceptable.
We know the consequences. Children and adults are dying in the custody of U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Children in detention centers are held in cages, sleeping on concrete floors, and denied toothbrushes. Asylum seekers are tear gassed and turned away at the border. Families in the United States are separated by interior immigration enforcement.
As justice-seekers motivated by our faith, we honor the dignity of every person. This is not a matter of partisan politics; it is a matter of people suffering. We affirm the sacred and all share a fundamental human right to seek asylum.
We urge Congress to:
1. Reduce funding for deportation, detention, and border militarization; support funding for refugee resettlement and asylum.
When determining federal appropriations for FY 2020, we urge Congress to reduce funds for CBP and ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations. Refuse to provide any additional funding for a border wall; instead allocate resources to support refugee resettlement and access to asylum.
2. Keep families together and invest in alternatives to detention.
We call for an end to family detention by December 2019, and urge Congress to increase funding for less costly, more efficient community-based alternatives to detention.
3. Exert robust oversight over detention and uses of federal funding.
We urge Congress to require additional inspections of ICE facilities, ensure ICE publishes public weekly reports, and create a detention ombudsperson to strengthen oversight. Congress should also prohibit federal funds from being used to: enforce Muslim or refugee bans, deport or detain DACA, TPS, or DED holders, and carry out immigration enforcement operations at “sensitive” locations including schools, churches and hospitals.
We call on President Trump and members of the Trump administration to stop terrorizing our immigrant neighbors and stop tearing families apart. We call on our elected officials in Congress to withhold funding from CBP and ICE that enables them to raid communities, separate families, and detain children and families. We call on immigration enforcement officers and agents to turn away from cruelty and choose compassion.
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