While applauding the Democratic leadership’s refusal to give in to President Donald Trump’s demand for $5 billion in border wall funding, a coalition of dozens of advocacy groups on Friday sent a letter to presumptive House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) expressing alarm that their proposals to reopen the government would still hand the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) billions of dollars to continue Trump’s inhumane anti-immigrant agenda.
“The Trump shutdown is deeply unfair to hundreds of thousands of federal employees and contractors; it is a disgrace that the president chose to inflict distress on them and their families,” the groups wrote (pdf). “As much as we all desire an end to the shutdown, however, rewarding Trump’s DHS with border barrier money is the wrong course of action, especially at a time when its personnel are tear gassing toddlers, separating and detaining families, and presiding over custodial deaths, including those of a seven-year-old girl named Jakelin and an eight-year-old boy named Felipe in Border Patrol custody just this month.”
The progressive coalition’s letter comes as the government shutdown appears set to continue into the new year, leaving as many as 800,000 government employees without a paycheck.
With Democrats set to officially take control of the House on January 3, the advocacy groups declared: “Now is the time to truly say no to Trump’s wall: no to $5 billion, no to $2.1 billion, no to $1.6 billion, no to $1.375 billion. And to reject any additional funding for detention beds, ICE and Border Patrol agents, or other harmful enforcement.”
Read the coalition’s full letter: