Last week, while press attention was heavily focused on passage of House legislation to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act, Latino and pro-immigration advocates won an almost unnoticed, but nevertheless important, victory. President Trump signed a $1.1 trillion spending deal to fund the federal government through the end of the fiscal year that, according to Bloomberg News, “largely tracks Democratic priorities and rejects most of [President Trump’s] wish list, including funds for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.” The bill, H.R. 244, was required because Congress previously only appropriated enough funding for half of the 2017 fiscal year.
In mid-March, the White House formally requested an additional $30 billion in defense spending and more than $3 billion for the wall and other immigration enforcement. The Trump administration further asked Congress to cut $18 billion in funds for domestic programs to partially offset these increases. Separately, the administration also urged Congress to eliminate funding for so-called “sanctuary cities” that refuse to cooperate with his mass deportation scheme. With a single political party controlling both houses of Congress and the White House, one might’ve assumed that the president’s priorities would sail through the legislative process. Early on, Democratic negotiators made clear they would fight funding for the wall, seeking to beat back one of the president’s signature issues.
It’s official: the president has made his supplemental budget request and submitted to Congress his first budget to fund his wall on our country’s southern border. And with the supplemental at $3 billion, taxpayers would be on the hook to fund the wall, a deportation force, border patrol agents, and detention facilities.
The budget request is meant to fund the strategy behind the three executive orders on immigration that led up to the president’s request today. Those orders created a ban on refugees and Muslims, authorized a new deportation force and new detention camps for asylum-seeking families, and a large-scale increase in border resources.
One thing is clear: Congress has the power to say NO. Without approval from Congress, the president cannot fully implement his anti-immigrant agenda
Earlier this week in Jackson, Miss., 22-year-old Dany Vargas stood bravely before reporters to speak about the fear that she and many of her friends and family have of being deported at any moment under a new administration that has targeted the Latino community.
Dany’s fears are real. After all, it was just two weeks ago that she watched her father get arrested outside their home. She literally hid inside her bedroom closet for fear that she too could be deported. Dany’s father and her brother were arrested, detained, and are currently awaiting deportation. Despite her fears after watching her family members taken away, Dany spoke eloquently about being a DREAMer and how much she wants to contribute to her country, which she has called home since she was seven years old.
As a DACA recipient, Dany has been able to work as a store manager, and has dreams of being a math teacher. But, her DACA status lapsed after she was unable to pay the $500 fee that is required every two years to maintain the status. However, Dany did save up the money she needed, and last month got her paperwork in order so that she could begin the renewal process. Since her application is pending, what happened next was shocking.
The administration’s new immigration executive orders will result in disaster. Our President and CEO, Janet Murguía, made the case for why in a Washington Post op-ed this week.
While the courts have effectively stalled the failed initial executive order rolled out just days after his inauguration, nobody should be fooled in believing that the pending new order will do anything but put a target on the backs of Latinos all over the country.
Week Ending February 24
This week in immigration: NCLR responds to immigration enforcement memos.
NCLR responds to immigration enforcement memos: This week, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued new memos outlining how the administration would implement the Executive Orders signed by President Trump on January 25. The implementation memos serve as a mass deportation blueprint. NCLR condemned this unnecessary and wasteful plan. “It opens the floodgates to terrorizing millions of people in this country—citizens and noncitizens alike—to combat a nonexistent immigrant crime wave. Or, to put in the words of this administration, based on ‘fake news,” stated NCLR President and CEO Janet Murguía. “We will do everything in our power to protect and defend our community in the face of this unconscionable assault on our civil rights,” Murguía added.