July 06, 2021

Warren Joins Menendez, Padilla, Colleagues to Urge for a Decrease in Funding for Immigration Enforcement and Detention Operations in FY22

Text of Letter (PDF)

Washington, D.C. – United States Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) joined Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), as well as a group of colleagues, in sending a letter to leaders of the Senate Committee on Appropriations and the Subcommittee on Homeland Security Committee on Appropriations requesting that they decrease funding levels for immigration enforcement and detention operations for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2022.  

“As the administration uses its executive action to begin the long process of rebuilding the United States’ immigration system, the government’s ability to realize its vision of a more humane and just immigration system relies on Congress utilizing the appropriations process to take bold action,” the senators wrote. “The FY 2022 Homeland Security Appropriations bill represents a unique opportunity for Congress to support immigrant communities and roll back the worst of the policies from the prior administration. Congress must be explicit in its provision of funds for the kind of transformative change that is needed to repair and build an immigration system that is centered around community and welcoming, not on tearing families apart, undermining community safety, and destabilizing communities and workplaces through punitive enforcement measures.”

During the Trump administration, funding for immigration and border enforcement, detention, barriers, and agents increased at an alarming pace, virtually eliminating the ability for migrants to seek asylum at the border. President Biden’s discretionary budget request for FY 2022 calls for $8.4 billion for ICE and $16.3 billion for CBP, a slight increase from the FY 2021 enacted level.

“Specifically, we urge you to ensure that the FY 2022 appropriations bill decreases funding for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents and reduces funding for the administration’s immigration enforcement and detention operations,” the senators added.

The letter was also signed by Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Mazie D. Hirono (D-Hawaii), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Minn.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Bernard Sanders (I-Vt.), and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.).    

The letter is supported by the American Immigration Council, Bend the Arc, Detention Watch Network, National Immigrant Justice Center, Southern Border Communities Coalition and United We Dream and is part of Senator Warren's ongoing efforts to protect the rights of migrants and asylum seekers.

  • In April 2021, Senator Warren, Congressman Joaquin Castro (D-Texas), Senator Padilla, and Congressman Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) led a bicameral letter to President Biden urging the inclusion of a fair, secure, and accessible pathway to U.S. citizenship for over 5 million immigrant essential workers in the President's upcoming infrastructure package.

  • In March 2021, Senator Warren, Congressman Castro, and Senator Booker reintroduced the bicameral COVID-19 in Immigration Detention Data Transparency Act to require immigration detention facilities to collect and publicly report data about COVID-19 cases, vaccine distribution, and the preventative measures in place in these facilities.

  • In February, Senator Warren joined Senator Menendez and Congresswoman Linda Sánchez (D-Calif.) in introducing the bicameral U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 - President Biden's bold, inclusive, and humane framework for the future of the United States immigration system.

  • In April 2020, Senator Warren cosponsored Senator Booker's and Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal’s (D-Wash.) Federal Immigrant Release for Safety and Security Together (FIRST) Act. The bill called for moving immigrants out of detention and halting immigration enforcement during the COVID-19 pandemic to address the spread of the virus in congregant settings.