Florence has devastated the Carolinas, leaving at least 18 dead and thousands without power. Authorities say the “worst is yet to come” as up to 1 million people brace for flooding. The situation is eerily like the disasters that decimated Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico last year – with a botched response in Puerto Rico resulting in heartbreaking 3,000 deaths. One year after Hurricane Maria, officials estimate that $125 billion is needed to rebuild Puerto Rico’s basic infrastructure and kickstart its economy.
But just as the people of the Carolinas and Puerto Rico need all the help they can get, news emerges that the Trump administration took nearly $10 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to fund the detention machine he built under his heartless “Zero Tolerance” policy.
The policy separated more than 2,300 children from their families earlier this summer, violating internationally-recognized asylum protections. Now, 12,800 children are unjustly and unconscionably being held in detention. Most of these children are Central American youth who have fled gang violence in their countries and have come to the US to seek safety.
Merciless detention is straining the country’s infrastructure. Makeshift camps are being built in places like Tornillo, Texas. These “tent cities” deal a double blow: They cruelly expose children to harsh desert conditions while being unnecessarily expensive to operate.
The victims of Florence and Maria need our help. But US taxpayers are instead bankrolling the inhumane detention of children in makeshift border camps at $750 per child per day, three times the amount of a typical shelter.
The 100,000 immigrant families represented by Alianza Americas stand with other US taxpayers in calling for their tax dollars to be invested in programs that save lives and benefit our communities, instead of funding the Trump Administration’s hate-filled agenda.
Robbing funds from disaster relief services to fund immigrant detention is simply the latest development in decades of fiscal misappropriation that has left the United States with the largest budgets for war, detention, and deportation in the world, built by slashing funds for essentials like healthcare, education, and environmental protections.
Join the call to #DefundHate.
Step 1: Dial 1-844-332-6361 and follow instructions to connect with your Member of Congress.
Step 2: Use this script as a guide for your call.
Hello, my name is [first and last name] and I’m a constituent of [state/congressional district]. I’m calling as part of the Defund Hate campaign. We’re calling on [Member of Congress] to weigh in with leadership and reject any special funding increase for immigrant detention. We need to use public funds for needed resources like disaster relief in the Carolinas and Puerto Rico, healthcare, education and housing, instead of this hateful detention and deportation machine.
Other Actions to Take:
Congress will pass another federal budget this fall. Prepare to act to ensure that your taxes are benefitting communities, not funding war, hate, and the detention of children. Learn how to hold your elected officials accountable with Aliana Americas’ #TaxDay Toolkit and our #TaxDay webinar to learn more:
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