Looming government shutdown: our immigrant family is at risk

Looming government shutdown: our immigrant family is at risk

November 14, 2023

By the end of this week, unless Congress agrees on a way to keep the government’s lights on, our country will veer again into a MAGA-created shutdown. 

In the last set of negotiations just six weeks ago, our movements won big: the Defund Hate coalition helped block billions of dollars for ICE and CBP, the government agencies that separate, detain, and deport our immigrant family and militarize border communities. And a shutdown was averted.

But now we have to show up again as Jews and allies to stop Congress from funneling billions of dollars to immigration enforcement and border militarization this week: Email your member of Congress NOW to demand they reject any additional funding for immigration enforcement systems that don't make us safe.

We’re not talking about a small amount of money: we’re talking about $7.8 billion for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). This money — and a MAGA-wishlist of xenophobic, anti-immigrant policies — is one of the issues at the center of negotiations over whether Congress averts a shutdown by passing a “continuing resolution” later this week.

Our tax dollars should reflect our Jewish and American values of care and community safety for all of us, not for the targeting, detention and deportation of our immigrant family, friends, and neighbors. And how our government spends our money has real, human consequences. This $7.8 billion could instead fund:

  • The resettlement of 1.4 million refugees
  • Healthcare for 1.58 million adults in poverty
  • Public housing for 810,000 households
  • Early learning services for 610,000 children from low-income families
  • Solar energy for 19.37 million homes

This Rosh Hashanah, Bend the Arc’s Washington Director Rabbi Jason Kimelman-Block and members of Bend the Arc: Jewish Action Maryland joined our Defund Hate partners outside the White House — rallying to block billions of dollars in unrestricted funding for detention and deportations. As we get deeper into this new Jewish and Fiscal Year, we are not backing away from this fight. 

Will you contact your members of Congress right now? Send an email to your reps to block funding for ICE and CBP and demand immigrant justice.

With gratitude and in solidarity,

The Bend the Arc team