Members from Indivisible Baltimore met with staffers from Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger at his DC office yesterday to urge him to vote against any increase in spending to ICE and CBP in the new DHS appropriations bill. Congressman Ruppersberger is a member of the House Appropriations Committee and a member of the DHS Appropriations sub-committee. We went to Congressman Ruppersberger with three asks for the new DHS appropriations bill:
- Reduce ICE and CBP funding to FY16 levels
- Limit the administrations ability to re-allocate funds from other DHS sub-agencies to ICE or CBP
- Eliminate all funding for ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations
Although the final language of the DHS appropriations bill largely met the above goals set out by Indivisible National, our meeting with the staffer was contentious. He repeatedly defended DHS spending on immigrant detention camps and maintained that cuts in DHS funding would result in worsening conditions within those camps. We responded that the overcrowding in the camps was largely a crisis manufactured by the administration – one that would only get worse with the construction of more camps – but to no avail. The Congressman seemed committed justifying increases in DHS funding.
UPDATE: The House eventually approved the GOP-led Senate’s $4.6b DHS spending bill, outraging many liberals and progressives. Congressman Ruppersberger voted in favor of it.