For Immediate Release: May 28, 2021
We Are Home Campaign Deeply Disappointed by Biden’s DHS Budget Request
Calls on Congress to Do Better
Washington, DC — President Biden’s FY 2022 budget, released today, requests $2.7 billion from Congress for ICE detention – almost the same amount enacted by Congress last year under the Trump Administration. It includes funds for 2,500 family detention beds. Alongside recent increases in the number of people jailed by ICE, this budget request is an alarming signal that DHS and the President are not heeding the call of the immigrant justice movement to reduce and ultimately end the federal government’s harmful and unnecessary reliance on incarceration for immigration processing.
In response to the news, Bridgette Gomez, Director of the We Are Home campaign, said:
“We are deeply disappointed to see that DHS plans to continue Trump-era levels of ICE detention. Candidate Biden promised an immigration policy that reflects our highest values as a nation. As president, Biden has repeatedly emphasized his commitment to racial equity. Any plan that doesn’t dramatically shrink ICE’s incarceration system – which mostly jails Black and Brown people – betrays those commitments. We’ll be looking to Congress to do better and cut ICE’s budget significantly.”
In March, We Are Home joined the Defund Hate coalition in calling on Congress to cut funding for ICE and CBP by at least 50 percent.
In February, the campaign sent comprehensive recommendations to DHS to overhaul enforcement and begin to dismantle the detention and deportation machinery that has devastated millions of families, mostly Black and Brown, and squandered billions of taxpayer dollars. These recommendations included policies to cut detention, including 1) a comprehensive file review of all people in ICE custody, with a presumption of release, and 2) an end to the use of private prisons and state and local jails for ICE detention. The urgency to reduce the detained population is even greater during the pandemic, since people in jails and prisons face particular risk of contracting COVID. ICE has no centralized plan to provide vaccines for people in its custody.
# # #