Today President Trump put forth a request to Congress for $4.4 billion in funding to address issues at the US-Mexico border. This funding request comes just as reports are surfacing of another death of an unaccompanied child in US government custody. Charanya Krishnaswami, advocacy director for the Americas at Amnesty International USA, released the following statement:
“Congress should reject the administration’s request, which is a continuation of its cruel and harmful border policies. Far from providing humanitarian assistance, this funding request would instead lead to unprecedented levels of detention and an impermissible increase in the numbers of families locked up for seeking protection, including in unsafe and precarious ‘tent cities.’ It would also deputize Border Patrol agents to do the work of trained asylum officers, jeopardizing asylum-seekers’ access to safety in the process.
“This is a cruel and heartless response to people who have already endured arduous journeys to flee violence and persecution. Families and individuals should not be punished for trying to rebuild their lives in safety. The administration must immediately abandon plans to increase detention capacity and construct tent cities, and should instead channel the ample resources it already has to providing an effective humanitarian response at the border.”