ILJ Network responds to the 20th anniversary of DHS
By ILJ Advocacy Consultants:
Roxana Aguilar Matiella, executive director of Arizona Justice for Our Neighbors
Claudia Marchan, executive director for Northern Illinois Justice for Our Neighbors
Today marks 20 years since the inception of the Department of Homeland Security, a bureaucracy founded on fear-based immigration policies. For all these many years, DHS has engaged in punishing migrants seeking safety, terrorizing our communities, and further increasing division in the country.
At the cost of approximately 1.4 trillion taxpayers’ dollars, DHS is well-equipped to continue separating families, detaining, torturing, and contributing to the thousands of unnecessary deaths of migrants across all our borders. Its dehumanizing laws create the means to incarcerate, deport, and further marginalize communities of color.
In the past three years of the pandemic, DHS has used increasingly militarized tactics to enforce dangerous policies instead of supporting vulnerable asylum-seeking families.
On this unhappy anniversary, we stand in solidarity against DHS and demand an end to an immigration enforcement system fundamentally in violation of human rights. DHS must be held accountable for the harm and violence they have inflicted upon migrants, and the system rooted in racism, inequality, and white supremacy must be dismantled.
The Immigration Law & Justice Network calls for our tax-payer dollars to be spent on solutions that honor the principles of justice, welcome, and respect. Our immigration policies and structures must support the humane treatment of all migrants seeking to become new Americans.