CT Students for a Dream criticizes spending bill


President Donald Trump arrives in the Diplomatic Room of the White House in Washington, Friday, March 23, 2018, to speak about the $1.3 trillion spending bill which he signed earlier in the day. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Connecticut Students for a Dream released a statement criticizing the $1.3 trillion national spending bill that President Donald Trump signed into law last week.

“The bill includes dangerous increases in funding to deport more people, house more human beings in detention camps and further militarize our border communities,” the statement said. “It also fails to solve the humanitarian crisis that Trump created when he killed the DACA and TPS programs.”

The bill includes a $1.8 million increase for Immigrations and Customs Enforcement .

Trump tweeted Sunday, “Much can be done with the $1.6 billion given to building and fixing the border wall. It is just a down payment. Work will start immediately. The rest of the money will come.”

However, the bill states that the funding is to be used primarily to repair existing border fencing.

The money may be used to hire more border patrol agents, as reported by the Huffington Post.

“This spending bill pumps billions more to agents who board buses to ask citizens and non-citizens alike for their papers, who mock and retaliate against local elected officials who are trying to protect their residents and who patrol border communities with guns and a political mission,” Connecticut Students for a Dream Executive Director Lucas Codognolla said.

The bill does not include any mention of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which has been in limbo since the Supreme Court declined to hear a case on the national injunctions against the Trump Administration ending DACA. The injunctions are currently preventing the administration from rolling the program back.

On Friday, Trump tweeted that he was considering vetoing the bill due to its failure to address DACA or fully fund the border wall.

“I am considering a VETO of the Omnibus Spending Bill based on the fact that the 800,000 plus DACA recipients have been totally abandoned by the Democrats (not even mentioned in Bill) and the BORDER WALL, which is desperately needed for our National Defense, is not fully funded,” he tweeted.

Camila Bortolleto, the Connecticut Students for a Dream campaign manager, said state and local action against the trend of increasingly militant deportation policies is important in the face of national inaction and shortcomings.

“Immigrant youth now call on state and local elected officials in Connecticut to take immediate action to resist Trump’s deportation force before it is too late,” Bortolleto said.

CT Students for a Dream is currently fighting for several bills in the state legislature. One of these bills is the Afford to Dream Act, which would give undocumented students equal access to institutional financial aid. The bill recently passed in the Higher Education Committee.

CT Students for a Dream are also supporting a house bill that enhances a TRUST Act and limits communication between ICE agents and local police.

“We will continue to mobilize our community and allies to ensure defunding these deportation agencies is a top priority for elected officials everywhere,” the statement said.

Anna Zarra Aldrich is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at anna.aldrich@uconn.edu. She tweets @ZarraAnna.

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