Human Rights Advocates Respond to Trump Budget Proposal

Proposed budget undermines human rights abroad, expands detention of asylum seekers Human Rights Advocates Respond to Trump Budget Proposal

Washington, D.C. – The Trump Administration on Monday released its federal budget proposal, detailing the funding requests the administration made to Congress for fiscal year 2021. Human Rights First found that the president’s proposal takes the United States backward on human rights, particularly when it comes to American leadership abroad and U.S. treatment of those seeking asylum.

“This budget request makes clear that the Trump administration’s only real foreign policy goal is the withdrawal of American leadership from the international stage,” said Human Rights First Senior Vice President for Policy, Rob Bershinski. “For the fourth year in a row, the administration has proposed a budget that would undermine our diplomats’ ability to promote and protect U.S. interests abroad and cripple American foreign assistance programs.

Proposed budget cuts to the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development are the second-highest agency-level cuts in the proposal, trailing only the Environmental Protection Agency. Voluntary contributions to UN programs, including those that serve refugees are zeroed out. And the proposed cut to the U.S. contribution to global health programs is 34% at a time when the world is facing the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

“These cuts would leave Americans less safe and serve as a gift to authoritarian regimes like China and Russia,” Bershinski said. “Luckily for the American people, both Republicans and Democrats in Congress continue to reject the administration’s moral and strategic capitulation. Just as it has throughout the entire Trump administration, Congress is likely to disregard this budget proposal and send it directly to where it belongs—the recycling bin.”

Human Rights First also found that the president proposed cuts of more than $1 billion for overseas humanitarian aid and assistance to refugees. The president proposed to expand funding for the Department of Homeland Security, including an additional  $1 billion to expand DHS’ ability to detain asylum seekers and other immigrants.

Human Rights First’s Jennifer Quigley said, “The president’s budget yet again demonstrates an extreme enmity toward vulnerable refugees and exacerbates the worldwide displacement crisis.”


Published on February 10, 2020


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