WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) criticized the full committee passage of the Department of Homeland Security’s spending bill for fiscal year 2019. Passed yesterday evening, this bill will tear thousands more children from their parents through detention and deportation, or while seeking safety at the U.S.-Mexico border.
“We welcome the few bipartisan amendments that rightly increase oversight of immigration enforcement,” said Diane Randall, Executive Secretary for FCNL. “However, we are disappointed that a majority of the committee failed to show moral leadership by approving more tax dollars for immigration enforcement that tears families apart every day. Families, children and asylum seekers should never be held in immigrant detention.”
The spending bill, totaling $51.4 billion, passed out of committee yesterday evening. It includes a 10 percent increase in detention beds over already inflated FY18 levels, and more than $5 billion to further militarize border communities and construct additional miles of border wall. It also funds hundreds more agents to carry out deportations.
“We applaud the bipartisan amendment that reaffirms our country’s mandate to uphold access to asylum, provides additional mental health services to children in federal custody and funds the restoration of the Family Case Management Program,” said Hannah Graf Evans, lead lobbyist for FCNL on immigration and refugee policy. “However, the House Appropriations Committee should have directed the administration to prioritize community-based alternatives to detention and cut funding for detention beds accordingly.”
FCNL’s nationwide network has repeatedly called on Congress to reduce funding for unchecked immigration enforcement. FCNL’s approach favors increased oversight and accountability mechanisms to keep communities safe and legislative reforms to amend a punitive immigration system.
Alongside the faith community, FCNL continues to urge the administration to immediately stop separating or detaining families and end “zero-tolerance” criminal prosecution for border crossings. To learn more, please visit www.fcnl.org.
Founded in 1943 by members of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), FCNL lobbies Congress and the administration for U.S. policies that advance peace, justice, and good government.