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A Cynical Vision for the Nation

  ·  Julián Lazalde

Governmental budgets are moral documents. President Trump’s first proposed budget is a clear demonstration of his priorities and continues to show his enforcement first-and-only approach to immigration.  

The budget proposal outlines the administration’s desire to make devastating cuts to anti-hunger programs, critical foreign aid, legal aid to indigent Americans and the arts in order to vastly increase spending on immigration enforcement (i.e., deportations) and homeland security (i.e., border wall).   

The proposed increase of nearly $5 billion for immigration enforcement is the next step for the Trump administration as they attempt to make good on their campaign promises to deport millions of undocumented immigrants as quickly as possible. However, the enforcement-only measures will likely not make the country any safer while putting millions of families at risk of separation and deportation.

In order to pay for his border wall, the budget also seeks to cut funding for the Coast Guard, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Cutting funds for established agencies with clear mandates regarding different aspects of national security (airport security, rail security, disaster preparedness and response) in order to fund the construction of what amounts to a national security vanity project is shortsighted and could have devastating consequences.

Many lawmakers, even Republican ones, have declared this proposed budget “dead on arrival.” Regardless of how the legislative process plays out, the die has been cast by the Trump administration regarding immigration policy priorities and how  to pay for them. Whether Congress supports this pessimistic and cynical vision for the country with our tax dollars is yet to be seen.  

Some notable points within the proposed budget are:

  • $2.9 billion for construction of border wall on US-Mexico border
  • $1.9 billion for immigration detention beds near the southern border
  • 36% increase in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) funding
  • 27% increase in Customs and Border Protection (CBP) funding
  • $285 million for 500 more CBP agents and 1,000 new ICE agents and staff

 Check out the Forum's Impacto Illinois page to learn more about how federal policies and actions are affecting Illinois Latinos. 


Posted In: Immigration