From Our Executive Director: Partnership Opposes Increased Federal Funds for Immigration Enforcement
You may be seeing news coverage that the House of Representatives’ approved a $1.3 trillion spending bill for fiscal year 2018 (currently headed to the Senate). This was conducted under a very tight timeline and so, per our usual practice, the Partnership forwarded a national action alert to our members encouraging support of the omnibus package which includes some important elements for domestic violence survivors. We are happy to see that the bill includes increases in VOCA, VAWA and FVPSA funds with some long-overdue Tribal set-asides. It also contains $50 million for DV rapid rehousing at HUD, and strengthens firearm background checks with increased inclusion of DV records via the Fix NICS bill.
While the Partnership appreciates these important advances, upon further review we also saw that the funding package contains some highly detrimental aspects related to immigration including increased resources for ICE, funding for border security, and no fix for DACA and TPS. The Partnership strongly opposes these anti-immigrant aspects and has therefore contacted Senators Feinstein and Harris to voice our opposition calling on them to remove $2.5 billion in funds for increased immigration enforcement.
It is clear to us that, while additional resources for DV are absolutely needed, we cannot move forward while leaving immigrant communities at risk. When we listen to and center the voices of survivors, we hear that expanded resources for immigration enforcement will exacerbate the fear that pervades immigrant communities. This discourages immigrant victims from seeking help which makes our communities less safe.
The Partnership recognizes that the crisis mindset and starvation funding climate in the DV field make it challenging to engage in work that addresses the many interconnected forms of systemic oppression and unequal power which prevent people and communities from their full potential. But we simply cannot celebrate DV funding gains on the backs of immigrants.
The Partnership has long-supported progressive and compassionate immigration policy in California including the Trust Act, U-Visa certifications, and most recently, the Values Act (SB 54). We will continue to advocate for DV, immigration and related social justice policies until we reach our goal of a comprehensive, well-resourced system that responds to the evolving needs of DV survivors, families and communities.
Kathy Moore, MSW
California Partnership to End Domestic Violence