Call Of The Day: Reject Transfer Of FEMA Money For Immigrant Detention

Hurricane season is underway and a [major storm already threatens Florida and Georgia] while ( Puerto Rico is still struggling to recover from inadequate relief efforts during Hurricane Maria. However, the Trump administration has prioritized its anti-immigrant agenda over protecting American citizens from disaster relief. On August 27th, the Department of Homeland Security announced it was reallocating $271 million in emergency funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The money, which includes $155 million from FEMA’s disaster relief fund and funding for the Coast Guard, will instead pay for additional beds in ICE detention centers.

ICE has funding to detain about 42,000 people at any given time, but the agency predicts they will have an average population of 50,000 detainees in detention by the end of September. The skyrocketing detention rates are the direct result of the Trump administration’s punitive immigration policies, including consistent denial of parole to asylum-seekers and increased detention of undocumented people with no criminal records. ICE is deliberately ignoring its congressional budgetary allocation to advance the Trump administration’s anti-immigrant ideology. Congress must strenuously oppose the theft of emergency funding to support ICE’s reign of terror.

Three calls to make:  Senators Kennedy and Cassidy, and Representative Richmond or Scalise

Senator Bill Cassidy:  DC Office: 202-224-5824; Metairie office:  504-838-0130; Baton Rouge: 225-929-7711; Monroe:  318-324-2111; Lake Charles:  337-277-5398; Alexandria:  318-448-7176; Lafayette: 337-261-1400; Shreveport: 318-798-3215
Senator John Kennedy:  DC office: 202-224-4623; New Orleans:  504-581-6190; Lafayette:  (337) 269-5980; Monroe:  (318) 361-1489; Alexandria:  (318) 445-2892; Baton Rouge:  (225) 926-8033; Shreveport:  (318) 670-5192

Because of how Congressional districts are drawn, New Orleans residents have either Richmond or Scalise as their representative.  If you don't know who your representative is, you can look it up by entering your home address on the U.S. House of Representatives website.

Representative Cedric Richmond - in DC at (202) 225-6636, and in New Orleans at (504) 288-3777
Representative Steve Scalise - in DC at (202) 225-3015, and in Metairie at (504) 837-1259

Sample script:

Hello. My name is [Your Name] and I'm an active voter from New Orleans, ZIP Code 70118 [Or wherever you’re from].

I'm calling to urge the [ senator / representative ] to oppose the Department of Homeland Security's reallocation of emergency disaster relief funding to ICE detention centers. Not a single dime of disaster relief money should be stolen to support this out-of-control agency.

Thank you for your time and attention.