Today, the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee in the House of Representatives will consider the proposed Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2018. The bill includes $1.6 billion to begin construction on a border wall, as well as $4.4 billion for detention and removal programs.
The Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), a leading research and advocacy organization advancing human rights and social justice is the Americas, opposes this element of the Homeland Security legislation. WOLA Senior Associate for Mexico and Migrant Rights Maureen Meyer, a leading expert on migration and border security, has issued the following statement and is available for comment on the bill:
“The House Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill is expensive and inhumane. Proposals to ratchet up the number of Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents, without first ensuring proper vetting measures are in place, risks making those forces more abusive and less accountable. Spending $4.4 billion on detaining and deporting immigrants will break up thousands of families in the U.S. and is completely at odds with the principle of due process and U.S. democratic values. With all of this, talk of spending $1.6 billion on the wasteful, ineffective “border wall” is just one piece of the problem. These policies will create a climate of fear that threatens civil liberties in the United States, and could put the lives of thousands at risk.”