Washington, D.C.— In response to the Senate’s supplemental spending package, which trades permanent immigration policy changes, including dismantling asylum, for temporary foreign policy funding, Bend the Arc: Jewish Action Washington Director, Rabbi Jason Kimelman-Block, issued the following statement:
I am outraged by what we are hearing will be in President Biden and Senate negotiators’ proposal, because this so-called-compromise is in fact only a cruel compromise on our values. This unacceptable ‘deal’ is a travesty — dismantling the right to seek asylum, detaining and deporting more immigrants, funneling more money to ICE and CBP, creating more chaos for immigrant and border communities, caving to a wishlist of MAGA Republican demands, and using our nation’s immigrants as bargaining chips. I am incensed and devastated by just how willing our elected officials are to sell out our immigrant family.
I am hopeful still, because our movement of American Jews, rooted in our history and values, continue to be a part of the fight to support our immigrant neighbors. I have been inspired by the upswell of action across the immigrant rights movement over the last many months. I have been inspired watching Bend the Arc’s Maryland, New York, Southeastern New Jersey, Champaign Urbana, and Ohio chapters mobilize hundreds of their members to weigh in with their Senators, and seeing Bend the Arc: Jewish Action Maryland leaders turning out at so many in-person demonstrations.
This fight is far from over, the vote has not yet taken place. Bend the Arc: Jewish Action calls upon Senate Democrats to oppose this proposal, to make that opposition known publicly, and to vote no if it reaches the Senate floor. We call upon House Democrats to serve as a critical backstop and oppose this bill when it reaches your chamber. And we call upon President Biden to turn away from both his recent rhetoric and this approach to immigration policy, and to deliver policies actually in line with his previously stated values, not Republican wishlists.
Bend the Arc: Jewish Action is uniting a movement of tens of thousands of progressive Jews across the country who are fighting for justice and equality for all. We are the only national Jewish organization focused exclusively on social change in the United States. Bend the Arc supporters across the country have raised our voices in opposition to these policies and supplemental funding for the agencies that detain and deport immigrant families and harmfully militarize border communities. With our partners in the Defund Hate campaign and more than 190 organizations, we’ve opposed every iteration of this supplemental funding.