As of September 2018, appropriation bills funding almost 70% of federal government operations have been signed into law for fiscal year (FY) 2019, (including operations of Labor, Health and Human Services, which includes the Office of Refugee Resettlement). Operations related to three bills: the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Department of Justice (DOJ), Department of State (DOS), are currently operating on a continuing resolution that authorizes funding at FY 2018 levels until Friday, December 21, 2018. Congress must pass the outstanding bills or extend current funding levels by December 21st to avoid a partial government shutdown.
As negotiations unfold this week, it is critical that Catholics and other people of faith urge Members of Congress to avoid a shutdown - recognizing that Commerce, Justice and Science (CJS), Department of Homeland (DHS) and State, Foreign Operations (SFOPs) fund important refugee and immigration-related programs - while also rejecting funding increases for inhumane enforcement measures.
Please ask your advocacy networks to send and sign our current action alert and urge Congress to deny unchecked funding increases for inhumane immigration enforcement efforts and to work together to find a bipartisan solution to avoiding a government shutdown.
Below is the message in our JFI action alert:
I write as a constituent and concerned Catholic regarding the ongoing FY 2019 appropriations process. As you continue negotiations around this matter, I ask that you avoid a partial government shutdown but also ensure that funding is not appropriated to inhumane and unchecked immigration enforcement initiatives.
Specifically, I urge you to:
* Work in a bipartisan manner to move forward the funding for the outstanding appropriations accounts and return to regular order to the extent possible;
* Reject the $5.5 billion requested by the President for new border wall construction or, at the very least, not appropriate more than the $1.6 billion agreed to in the Senate's FY 2019 DHS bill; and
* Support increases in funding for alternatives to detention and reject requests to increase funding for immigrant detention beds above the FY 2018 enacted immigrant detention level.
Thank you for considering these recommendations and your ongoing work on this issue.