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‘The Squad’ Calls for Reductions to U.S. Customs and Border Patrol Budget

July 16, 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, and Rashida Tlaib released a statement urging House Leadership to significantly reduce the budget for Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) in the upcoming Appropriations bills. This call follows a recentreport from the Government Accountability Office (GAO), which found that the additional funds appropriated by Congress to CBP in 2019, which the four Congresswomen voted against, were misused.

"As we continue through appropriations season, it is important to remember the lessons of last year. In 2019, as thousands of migrant families were held in cages and detained in horrific conditions along the southern border, the President requested and Congress handed over an additional $112 million in funding to CBP, which was intended to be used for food and medical care. In June, a report unveiled by the GAO, an independent government watchdog, found that these taxpayer funds were instead used on dirt bikes, ATVs and other unnecessary items.

"Last year, the four of us voted against this CBP funding, clear eyed that CBP and ICE are rogue agencies that act to inflict harm on our communities and have a pattern of behavior of abuse and mismanagement of funds. This year, the House must hold CBP accountable for their egregious violation of the law by withholding any further funding and imposing additional accountability measures with real consequences."