Immigration advocates slammed Congress’s tentative deal to avoid another partial government shutdown over its inclusion of additional funding for border security initiatives.
In a statement published on Wednesday, United We Dream Deputy Executive Director Greisa Martinez Rosas, who is a recipient of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, said that if President Donald Trump signs off on such a deal, it would only give him “more cash to execute his racist vision of mass deportation.”
Earlier this week, congressional leaders from both parties agreed to a deal that would allocate nearly $1.4 billion for 55 miles of new fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border, a significant drop from the $5.7 billion that the president had demanded for the construction of his long-promised border wall.
The package would also include roughly $23 billion in funding for additional border security initiatives.
“There’s no other way to spin this: Based on current reports, this agreement will mean more money for ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] and CBP [Customs and Border Protection] and more families separated by detention and deportation,” Martinez Rosas said.
Accusing both Republicans and Democrats of being responsible for the U.S.’s policies on immigration, Martinez Rosas said that “for decades, both parties have built up the deportation force—let’s remember there are currently 15,000 children in detention camps and 48,747 immigrants jailed.”
“This deal represents the ‘enforcement-only’ status quo that Washington has been stuck in for too long,” she said.
“Immigrant, progressive and civil rights leaders have made it clear that offering a little less than Trump wants is no way to stand up to him,” the United We Dream deputy executive director said. “There is another way forward: We must defund the deportation force and create a pathway to citizenship for undocumented people.”
Noting that recent polls have indicated that the majority of the U.S. public supports providing undocumented immigrants with pathways to citizenship and opposes “mass deportation,” Martinez Rosas called on Washington to “catch up” with the people it represents.
Both chambers of Congress will vote on the spending bill on Thursday, but It is still not clear whether Trump will sign it by the Friday midnight deadline, when a funding measure to keep the government running amid border security talks runs out.
The president has said he does not want another partial government shutdown, saying it would be “a terrible thing” earlier this week. He said he would be reviewing the deal hashed out by lawmakers and be “looking for landmines.”