Congress is currently in the process of determining how much money each federal department will receive for Fiscal Year 2020. The White House is asking Congress for more money to go to the southern border to address the high volume of migrants arriving there.
The Department of Homeland Security wants this funding for:
- temporary and semi-permanent migrant processing facilities,
- additional personnel along the border,
- increased detention capacity,
- and upgrades to "overtaxed" information technology systems.
Responding to the human need of those migrating, as well as maintaining the security of the U.S., will cost money. More resources -- processing facilities, IT upgrades -- make sense; what does not make sense is failing to adapt to the changing needs of those arriving (more women and children), failing to address the root causes of migration, failing to protect the right to seek asylum, failing to efficiently process asylum requests, and failing to protect human dignity and human rights as asylum seekers are screened. We have a unique calling to remind policymakers to use our tax dollars in ways that protect vulnerable immigrants, keep families together, and decrease immigrant detention. We have an opportunity to “…love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action.” (I John 3:18)
Congress should invest in compassionate budgets that protect the dignity of asylum-seekers, refugees, and immigrants, and invests in systems which offer safety and hospitality.