• Women’s Refugee Commission Responds to DHS Funding Bill

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    Washington, DC - Today, the House Appropriations Committee Homeland Security Subcommittee approved its proposed fiscal year 2018 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Appropriations bill. Among other provisions, the bill includes $1.6 billion in funding for the Trump Administration’s proposed border wall and $4.4 billion for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention and removal programs. This would fund 44,000 immigration detention beds, representing nearly 5,000 more than were funded for FY 2017 and a roughly 30 percent increase over the 34,000 detention beds that Congress has funded in recent years. The bill also includes funding to hire 1,000 new ICE officers as well as 500 new Border Patrol agents.

     According to Katharina Obser, Senior Program Officer at the Women’s Refugee Commission:

    “This bill represents an unacceptable expansion of a system that already, in its current form, tears apart families and detains those in need of protection both at our borders and within the United States without necessary due process. This bill funds an unprecedented increase in a detention system that already locks up thousands who pose no threat to the community and lacks meaningful oversight. Funding a border wall and a deportation force does not address the real problems within our immigration enforcement system and will not serve to protect Americans, but will instead undermine due process, separate families, and sew fear into vulnerable communities. The Women’s Refugee Commission stands firmly against these measures that represent a gross mishandling of U.S. taxpayer money and calls on Members of Congress to reject this harmful bill.”