Washington, D.C. — Winnie Stachelberg, executive vice president for External Affairs at the Center for American Progress, released the following statement after the U.S. House and Senate passed legislation to fund the government through the remainder of fiscal year 2019:
The American people voted for a check on President Donald Trump in November, and they got one. While bipartisan negotiators should be commended for staving off an unnecessary government shutdown, this deal unfortunately leaves much more work to do to rein in Trump’s out-of-control immigration enforcement practices. Over the past two years, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) under the Trump administration has repeatedly busted through congressional limits on detention spending and raided funds from other important programs—such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Coast Guard, and the Transportation Security Administration—and this bill appears to allow ICE to continue to do the same in the months ahead.
There can be no more blank checks for Trump’s cruel enforcement policies, and ICE’s actions—from fiscal irresponsibility to family separation—must be investigated, and those responsible must be held accountable. Further, it’s disappointing that appropriators didn’t include necessary disaster relief funding for Puerto Rico. Going forward, lawmakers must not only work to rein in ICE’s abuses but also pass supplemental legislation to address urgently needed Nutrition Assistance Program funds for Puerto Rico, which are currently set to run out in March.
The bipartisan deal to fund the government marks a humiliating and well-deserved defeat for President Trump, who deliberately inflicted suffering on millions of working Americans and their families—not to mention on the American economy as a whole—over his wall tantrum. Declaring a national emergency at the southern border, as Trump is expected to do, won’t bring down health care prices, renew our infrastructure to create good-paying jobs, or clean up corruption—all things the American people want our government to do.
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