Nationwide, March 1, 2023 – This week, immigration justice advocates and directly impacted communities from across the country are gathering to mark the 20th anniversary since the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) began operations. In those 20 years, the deportation agencies have targeted immigrants, Muslims, and communities of color through surveillance, detention, torture, military occupation, and draconian immigration laws.

The actions in cities like New York, Washington D.C, Denver, Atlanta, Newark, and others will highlight the extensive and well-documented history of harm from DHS against our communities.

The Defund Hate Campaign, which is made up of 67 organizations comprising directly impacted communities, faith leaders, and civil rights and immigrant rights advocates, released the following statement to mark today’s dark anniversary:

“Twenty years is too long to keep making the same mistakes. This week, communities across the country are gathering to reflect on ICE and CBP’s impact and share stories of loved ones currently detained and who have been harmed or killed by the deportation agencies. Budgets are moral documents that should reflect our shared values of dignity, respect, and unity, and we collectively demand the federal government prioritize community needs in budget proposals and negotiations for Fiscal Year 2024.

Recent victories to end immigration detention contracts in California and Pennsylvania demonstrate a growing consensus to close detention centers that President Biden must continue building on as more contracts lapse this year.

The President and Congress must also redirect billions of taxpayer dollars we currently spend on DHS to support communities through education, housing, healthcare, public transportation, reparations, and other investments that allow us to live dignified and full lives together.”

The Defund Hate Campaign is led by a coalition of organizations that represent directly impacted immigrant communities, faith leaders, and civil and immigrant rights advocates. We are committed to divestment from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP), agencies that tear apart loved ones and harm our communities. Instead, we want our tax dollars used to strengthen our families and communities. The coalition unites communities across the country to demand that Congress cut funding for ICE and CBP and instead invest our tax dollars in health care, education, and other vital programs that benefit all of us.