Skip to main content

Statement by Mary Meg McCarthy, Executive Director, National Immigrant Justice Center

Only 12 hours after two federal courts halted the Trump administration’s second refugee and Muslim ban, finding there was a strong likelihood it would be found unconstitutional, the White House asked Congress for more than $3 billion to build a border wall that harms border communities; further expand the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s massive immigration detention system that already endangers the lives and safety of tens of thousands of men, women, and children; and mount a deportation force that will terrorize American communities and eviscerate due process. Heartland Alliance’s National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) calls on Congress and the American people to reject this budget and an executive branch agenda that is proving to be unlawful as it is un-American.

The Muslim ban, which was scheduled to take effect today, was challenged by the attorneys general of several states, as well as immigrant rights groups. In Hawaii, U.S. District Judge Derrick K. Watson issued a temporary restraining order which stays both the travel ban on six majority-Muslim countries and the refugee ban. In Maryland, U.S. District Judge Theodore Chuang issued a preliminary injunction enjoining the suspension of immigration from six Muslim-majority countries.

Undaunted by this second federal court loss in as many months, the administration dug into its racist and anti-immigrant agenda by presenting a budget that eliminates a broad spectrum of government programs in order fund further militarization of southern U.S. communities and expand the deportation net for immigrants, including those who have lived the majority of their lives in the United States and are integrated in American families, neighborhoods, schools, and businesses.

Congress and the American people must now use our power to withhold funding for these programs to resist policies that will harm our communities. State governments and federal courts have prevented xenophobia from dismantling America’s refugee system. Americans and legislators must lead the next battle and say NO to ICE. We refuse to be complicit in policies that attack fundamental constitutional and human rights, and we refuse to pay for them.