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AILA Doc. No. 17052361 | Dated May 23, 2017
WASHINGTON, DC - AILA opposes the Trump Administration's newly released Fiscal Year 2018 budget request, which would fund massive increases in immigration enforcement and border security and undermine due process in immigration law through the power of the purse. This request for billions more dollars to grow an enormous deportation force - which has already ripped apart families and communities - is especially extraordinary considering that President Trump is demanding deep cuts in domestic programs that are vital to working class Americans. Most troubling, the Administration's budget would fund a 66 percent increase in the nation's already sprawling immigration detention system and add 1,500 enforcement agents.
The proposed budget is not based on any demonstrated border security or public safety needs. In fact, border apprehensions have declined steadily during the past two decades. Moreover, the Administration is indiscriminately arresting and detaining undocumented people, families, and Dreamers. ICE statistics show that, in the first 100 days of the new Administration, arrests of individuals with no criminal convictions increased by 157 percent.
The proposed budget goes hand-in-hand with several bills now being moved through Congress that constitute an unprecedented expansion of immigration enforcement that is fundamentally inconsistent with principles of due process and fairness. Together the budget and these enforcement-only bills would enable the Administration to implement an immigration agenda focused solely on mass detention and deportation without regard to the harm it would do to American communities.
Benjamin Johnson, AILA Executive Director noted, "Nowhere in this budget is there any recognition that immigrants have been crucial to America's success. This budget ignores the desperate need in our country for smart immigration reform that will benefit all Americans and offer a chance for the undocumented to legalize their status - something 90 percent of Americans want. This budget fails on so many levels."
The Administration and DHS budget documents released today include the following provisions:
The proposed budget would slash funding for international refugee and humanitarian assistance, including a complete elimination of the Emergency Refugee and Migration Fund which is critical for the U.S. government's capacity to respond to urgent crises. This plan will reduce the number of refugees resettled in the United States to 50,000 in 2018, far short of what is needed.
More information can be found in AILA's report published in April, 2017: President Trump's Massive Enforcement Plan: Wasteful and Ineffective.
The American Immigration Lawyers Association is the national association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and enhance the professional development of its members.
Cite as AILA Doc. No. 17052361.