Friday, March 17, 2017

CONYERS: Trump Budget Fails To Make USA Safer, Undermines Access To Justice & Jeopardizes Millions Fleeing Violence, Famine & War

Washington, D.C. – House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) today released the following statement on President Donald Trump’s proposed fiscal year 2018 budget blueprint:

Dean of the U.S. House
of Representatives
John Conyers, Jr.
“President Trump’s budget blueprint starves essential government programs across the board.  Under the guise of reprioritizing federal spending in the name of advancing the “safety and security of the American people,” the Trump Budget will make Americans less safe, deny them access to justice, and fund discriminatory immigration policies at the expense of hardworking Americans who need vital federal services such as “meals on wheels,” public broadcasting and critical environmental protections. 

“The President’s shortsighted budget cuts threaten to undermine the Justice Department’s critical public safety efforts.  Cutting DOJ funding could very well jeopardize essential community-based justice programs such as the Community Oriented Policing Service (COPS) Program and the Violence against Women Act (VAWA) Program.            

“The Trump Budget also proposes to cut all funding for the Legal Services Corporation (LSC), a program that for more than 40 years, with bipartisan support, has provided civil legal representation of hundreds of thousands of Americans in every county in every state and the territories.  By eliminating all LSC funding, the Trump Budget would harm America's most vulnerable: families facing foreclosure and eviction, women struggling to escape domestic abuse, and veterans trying to obtain promised benefits.  More than 150 of the Nation’s largest law firms agree that funding LSC is essential so that it continue to provide civil legal services to the poor.       

“While slashing these critical federal programs, the Trump Budget would build a wall and deport millions of immigrants – increasing spending on immigration enforcement by $3 billion. It invests $2.6 billion in border technology, including the border wall;  requests an additional $1.5 billion to detain and deport our neighbors, our friends, and our family; and proposes an additional $314 million to hire more Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agents to create the promised “deportation force.” 

“With this budget, Americans are being asked to foot the bill for Trump’s border wall through their tax dollars and every time they fly on an airplane. The Trump Budget proposes to raise the Passenger Security Fee to pay for TSA security operations, while simultaneously slashing funding for TSA security screenings. This budget reduces state and local Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grants by $667 million and eliminates FEMA no cost match grants. In exchange for these cuts, Americans will be exposed to greater racial profiling and additional interrogations at the border.”

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