Advancing Justice | AAJC Says Spending Bill Hits the Mark on Census, Disappoints on Immigration

The omnibus spending bill increases funding for the 2020 Census, but includes harmful enforcement funding.
For Immediate Release
Michelle Boykins 202-296-2300, ext. 0144
Mary Tablante 202-296-2300, ext. 0114

Washington, D.C. — March 22, 2018 — Today, Congress is set to vote on an omnibus spending bill to avoid another government shutdown.

John C. Yang, president and executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC, issues the following statement in response to the spending bill:

“As Congress votes today on the spending bill Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC sees glimpses of hope and other areas of disappointment among the issues for which we advocate. The bill increases funding for the 2020 Census, the American Community Survey, and other activities. The 2020 Census has endured a number of delays and insufficient funding up to this point that has had many of us concerned about how well the census could be administered. The bipartisan support for the funding in this budget puts the U.S. Census Bureau in a much better position to accomplish a fair and accurate count.

Advancing Justice | AAJC is equally satisfied to see Congressional support for election security that will be administered by the Election Assistance Commission (EAC). With mid-term elections on the horizon, we need the EAC to keep secure the fundamental right for citizens to vote.

On immigration, the omnibus spending bill includes harmful enforcement funding, including additional Homeland Security Investigations agents and ICE prosecutors and judges who will be used to speed up deportations.  The detention bed funding at current levels remains too high and the bill provides $1.6 billion in border security to build pieces of the unnecessary wall.  Still, Congress was largely able to stave off White House requests for more ICE and border patrol agents, detention beds and wall money. No harmful language attacking sanctuary cities or community trust policies was included in the bill.

What this spending bill fails to include is a solution for DACA recipients. The White House sought to extract full funding for a border wall in exchange for a temporary DACA fix, which members of Congress rightly rejected. Congress should stop playing politics with young immigrants lives and pass a clean DREAM Act and provide a solution for TPS recipients who have seen their protections vanish over the last year.”