To the editor,

Congress must pass another spending bill by September 30th. Human rights organizations are calling on Congress to #DefundHate by cutting spending for the US Immigration and Customs en-forcement (ICE) and for US Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Here’s why.

Stopping the flow of money to ICE and CBP appears to be the only way to stop Trump’s mistreatment of immigrant families and children. ICE and CBP keep coming back for more and more money from Congress so that it can keep more and more detainees, including children, in conditions intentionally calculated to be miserable, unhealthy, barely monitored and ripe for abusive behaviors. Human rights groups have come to realize that the only way to stop Trump’s agenda of cruelty is to stop the flow of money to these agencies.

There are other reasons to reduce funding to ICE and CBP including: Mismanagement of funds already granted and a lack of transparency as to how those funds have been used; Increasing privatization of detention facilities by for-profit corporations creates financial incentives to detain more and more individuals; The efforts of the Trump Administration to weaken the operating standards for 200 or so detention facility contractors has created substandard conditions for detainees.

Detention Watch Network in collaboration with the National Immigration Justice Center prepared a detailed report titled ICE’s Fiscal Mismanagement: Deceit and Abuse, addressing the following serious problems: Overspending, reckless contracting, fatal results, and total lack of transparency. It is very worthwhile reading and can be found online by searching the report’s title.

Since Trump took office, ICE’s budget has grown by nearly $1 billion. ICE overspends intentionally in order to keep coming back to Congress with requests for additional funds. ICE contracts with over 200 companies running detention facilities with the majority being for profit.

In a Washington Post article dated July 13, 2019, Marria Saccetti reported that Juan Sanchez earned $3.6 million in 2017 as a CEO running child shelters for the government.

Contrary to accusations by many conservatives, no one is asking for “open borders.” We are asking for a fair, humane, efficient and fiscally responsible immigration system, which is just about the opposite of what we currently have.

Please write or call your members of congress and ask them to #DefundHate this September.

Sincerely,

Diane Bungum

The Dalles

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