• Press Release

Final 2020 Congressional Funding Bills Fall Far Short of Making Human Rights a Priority

December 19, 2019

Yellow and white graphic with the Amnesty international logo on the bottom left and the word
Responding to the final funding bills for Fiscal Year 2020, Amnesty International USA urges that the U.S. government must step up its contribution to global efforts to protect human rights.

Earlier this week, Amnesty International USA welcomed efforts to secure $25,000,000 to aid in research around gun violence after recommendations from 160 medical, public health, and research organizations. Although Amnesty International USA acknowledges that these funds are a long overdue step in the right direction, the overall 2020 spending bill does little to restrict the human rights abuses to which the administration has subjected asylum seekers.  

We are deeply concerned that Congress has failed to place even basic limits on the administration’s ability to raid other accounts to fuel ever-growing levels of detention, and fund a wasteful, xenophobic border wall,” said Joanne Lin, Amnesty International USA’s National Advocacy Director.

“Congress is allowing the administration to erect a monument to Trump’s hatred towards asylum-seekers and migrants in the form of a costly wall that will hurt the environment and displace border communities, including the Indigenous communities to whom this land belongs.

Amnesty International USA is alarmed by the ever-growing budget for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), agencies which have engaged in serious human rights abuses and have nevertheless consistently received increasing amounts of money over successive fiscal years. While Amnesty welcomes the important oversight and accountability mechanisms Congress has included in this bill, without a firm restriction on the administration’s ability to transfer funds, the administration can easily siphon funds for detention beds and for a harmful wall.

Media contact: Mariya Parodi, [email protected]