With Hurricane Florence on our doorstep, we’ve learned that the Trump administration has diverted $10 million from FEMA ‘response and recovery’ to spend on ICE incarceration.
This diversion of precious funding from disaster relief in order to pay for the separation and incarceration of families is stunning, unconscionable and unacceptable.
This funding move is just the tip of the iceberg! Family separation and incarceration is cruel and expensive, taking funding from programs that our families actually need, such as disaster relief.
Lives and dollars are on the line. Just six months ago, in March, Congress approved more than $4 billion for ICE to carry out Trump’s cruel policies. Further, over the summer, congressional appropriators approved an additional transfer of funds of over $200 million from other agencies to cover this over-spending, including from FEMA, the Transportation Security Administration’s aviation safety programming, and the U.S. Coast Guard.
Now ICE is looking to gain even more funding to carry out Trump’s cruel policies by the end of September. They’re asking for a special request known as an “anomaly” to give them money.
Incarcerating children and families is not who we strive to be as a nation. Children and families deserve due process, not indefinite imprisonment. Alternatives to detention such as the Family Case Management not only maintain family unity but are also cost effective, costing just $38 a day for an entire family compared to hundreds of dollars a day to keep a family in detention.
Every dollar is needed to help our families, not tear them apart.
For instance, despite the ludicrous lies President Trump told yesterday, it is abundantly clear that FEMA’s response to last year’s hurricane in Puerto Rico was grossly inadequate and compounded the tragedy and shocking loss of life from Hurricane Maria. Even today, hundreds of thousands of Americans in Puerto Rico and in Texas, where Hurricane Harvey struck, are still suffering and struggling mightily. They need every penny of funding designated for FEMA to support their recovery. So, too, will those in the Carolinas and Virginia who are fleeing for their lives right now.
Every child, regardless of where they come from, what they look like, or where they live, deserves to pursue their dreams. Together, we have the power to demand that leaders do right by all children, invest in our kids, and divest from family incarceration.
Together we are a powerful voice for ALL families.