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Quaker Lobby Warns House Homeland Security Budget Advances Family Separation and Detention

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The Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) criticized the full
committee passage of the Department of Homeland Security's spending bill
for fiscal year 2019. Passed yesterday evening, this bill will tear
thousands more children from their parents through detention and
deportation, or while seeking safety at the U.S.-Mexico border.

"We welcome the few bipartisan amendments that rightly increase
oversight of immigration enforcement," said Diane Randall, Executive
Secretary for FCNL. "However, we are disappointed that a majority of the
committee failed to show moral leadership by approving more tax dollars
for immigration enforcement that tears families apart every day.
Families, children and asylum seekers should never be held in immigrant
detention."

The spending bill, totaling $51.4 billion, passed out of committee
yesterday evening. It includes a 10 percent increase in detention beds
over already inflated FY18 levels, and more than $5 billion to further
militarize border communities and construct additional miles of border
wall. It also funds hundreds more agents to carry out deportations.

"We applaud the bipartisan amendment that reaffirms our country's
mandate to uphold access to asylum, provides additional mental health
services to children in federal custody and funds the restoration of the
Family Case Management Program," said Hannah Graf Evans, lead lobbyist
for FCNL on immigration and refugee policy. "However, the House
Appropriations Committee should have directed the administration to
prioritize community-based alternatives to detention and cut funding for
detention beds accordingly."

FCNL's nationwide network has repeatedly called on Congress to reduce
funding for unchecked immigration enforcement. FCNL's approach favors
increased oversight and accountability mechanisms to keep communities
safe and legislative reforms to amend a punitive immigration system.

Alongside
the faith community
, FCNL continues to urge the administration to
immediately stop separating or detaining families and end
"zero-tolerance" criminal prosecution for border crossings. To learn
more, please visit www.fcnl.org.

Founded in 1943 by members of the Religious Society of Friends
(Quakers), FCNL lobbies Congress and the administration for U.S.
policies that advance peace, justice, and good government.

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