Sen. Kamala Harris, leading Senate Dems call for decreased funding for Trump’s deportation force

[ Originally published on this site as post ]

Citing an “indiscriminate approach to enforcement” that “has sown fear and anxiety in communities across the nation,” Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) and leading Senate Democrats have signed a letter calling on the Senate Committee on Appropriations to reduce funding for Donald Trump’s deportation force, and set aside zero dollars for his massive border wall that Mexico was supposed to pay for:

“President Trump and his appointees have largely eliminated prioritization and discretion from the immigration enforcement system. There is little room for the case-by-case review that would allow for the exercise of prosecutorial discretion with respect to individuals who have lived in the country for long periods of time, who are parents of U.S. citizen children, or otherwise have strong ties to their communities and pose no public safety threat. This has resulted in numerous families being separated and American children being traumatized. There are approximately 4.1 million U.S. citizen children and families that could be negatively impacted by these indiscriminate deportations. This indiscriminate approach to enforcement has sown fear and anxiety in communities across the nation.”

The letter, led by Sen. Harris and signed by Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), and other leading Democrats, notes that Trump’s deportation force has not been targeting “bad hombres” as Trump and DHS Sec. John Kelly have repeatedly claimed, but instead undocumented parents with no criminal record—many with U.S. citizen kids and deep ties to the U.S.—undocumented immigrant victims of domestic violence, and other vulnerable populations:

“[W]e believe that existing funding levels should be reduced in order to limit President Trump’s mass deportation apparatus. ICE arrests of individuals with no criminal conviction have jumped 156 percent and make up a larger share of overall arrests as compared to last year. DHS should focus its resources on prioritizing actual threats, rather than targeting millions of unauthorized immigrants for removal.”