On July 1, President Trump signed a Congressional bill enabling $4.6 Billion in humanitarian aid money to be sent to the US Southern Border. The funding is intended to provide relief to immigration agencies who are stretched too thin by the ever-growing number of migrants seeking asylum. The bill will fund immigration related efforts of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, the Department of Defense, and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency. Funding also will enable the Justice Department to hire 30 new teams of immigration judges. Roughly $2.9 Billion will go towards the care of children who enter the US unaccompanied; and $1 Billion has been allocated for the Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) to help process migrants.
The bill that the President signed originated in the Senate. Many progressives in the House found the existing bill to lack vital migrant protections and firm caps on how long unaccompanied children may be detained. They also preferred a House immigration bill that had more protections for migrant children. However, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi felt pressure from moderates to pass the Senate’s version in order to 1) get resources to the children fastest and 2) get the bill passed before the July 4 recess.
House Liberals did not find the bill the President signed specific enough and there is a widespread distrust of the Trump Administration’s use of immigration funds. Thus, Speaker Pelosi’s hasty but difficult decision to rush the bill to the House floor has created a rift among Democrats. Many are opposed to providing ICE with more funding and providing Trump with financial resources without firm guidelines to prevent misallocation and/or corruption.
- The ACLU: a non-profit with a longstanding commitment to preserving and protecting the individual rights and liberties the Constitution and US laws guarantee all its citizens. You can also donate monthly to counter Trump’s attacks on people’s rights. Recently, the ACLU has filed a lawsuit challenging the separation of families at the border.
- The National Immigration Law Center: an organization that exclusively dedicates itself to defending and furthering the rights of low income immigrants and strives to educate decision makers on the impacts and effects of their policies on this overlooked part of the population.
- FWD.us: an organization that aims to promote the tech community to support policies that keep the American Dream alive. They specifically and currently focus on immigration reform.
Photo by Jon Tyson