Washington—Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today released the following statement on President Trump’s initial budget request:
“I couldn’t be more disappointed that President Trump has used his first budget proposal to prioritize the border wall—his pet project—and a deportation force over critical support for state and local law enforcement. He repeatedly promised during the campaign to support local police and this budget breaks that promise.
Gutting the Justice Department and Homeland Security Department grant programs for state and local law enforcement is self-defeating if we’re going to protect national security. Local law enforcement is on the front lines and works closely with federal law enforcement and intelligence community partners to protect Americans.
Instead of strengthening local law enforcement and the communities they serve, President Trump is prioritizing a border wall that won’t work and a deportation force that doesn’t distinguish between dangerous criminals and hard-working families.
These are the wrong priorities for our country and I will oppose efforts to fulfill empty campaign promises at the expense of proven programs that are vital to local law enforcement and national security.”
Support for local law enforcement
“While Trump’s budget request is light on specifics, the harm to local communities is clear. It proposes cutting $700 million from assistance to state and local law enforcement.
These programs include Community Oriented Policing Services, Justice Assistance Grants, school safety, gun violence prevention programs and rape kit testing. They allow local departments to hire and train officers, obtain equipment and strengthen community relationships.
This funding is essential to ensure state and local law enforcement are able to prevent and respond to crime, and potential terrorist attacks.”
State Criminal Alien Assistance Program
“One specific cut identified by President Trump’s budget is the elimination of the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program, which reimburses states and counties for the costs of incarcerating undocumented immigrants convicted of crimes. This cut is utterly illogical and would force state and local law enforcement to divert funds from hiring and training officers. Local law enforcement should not be punished for Congress’s failure to pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill.”
“The president’s budget for next year requests $2.6 billion, more than double the proposed cuts to the Justice Department, to build a wall along the Southern border. President Bush tried this without success, and the wall is opposed by private landowners whose land would be seized to build it.
Mexico won’t pay for the wall so the president’s budget calls for the American people to foot the bill for the lawyers needed to battle private landowners in court. This is just another example of President Trump breaking his promise to stand up for everyday people.”
Legal Service Corporation
“In yet another attack on vulnerable citizens, the president’s budget eliminates the Legal Services Corporation, which helps low-income Americans access lawyers and professional legal advice. Low-income clients are often unable to resolve legal disputes and achieve justice if they can’t afford a lawyer.
Grants awarded by this agency help ensure Americans with limited financial resources, particularly those who are elderly, disabled or have limited English proficiency can access legal advice and representation. Whether or not someone is treated fairly in our justice system should not depend on the ability to pay.”###