Lofgren Statement on GAO Report on Trump’s ‘Zero-Tolerance’ Immigration Policy

December 4, 2019
Press Release
The Detailed Report, Requested by Lofgren, Concludes that the Trump Administration Wasted Resources & Money to Increase the Prosecution of Asylum-Seekers at the Southern Border

WASHINGTON, DC —The Government Accountability Office (GAO) just released a detailed report on how the Trump Administration wasted millions of taxpayer dollars to increase the prosecution of asylum-seekers crossing the Southern border, at the direction of then-Attorney General Sessions. This waste of resources fueled the immoral family separation policy and ultimately failed to deter anyone.

In response, today, Representative Zoe Lofgren, Chair of the Immigration and Citizenship Subcommittee, issued the following statement:

“This report is a sad reminder of the incredible lengths this Administration is willing to go to attack vulnerable women, children, and families seeking asylum. Not only did ‘Zero Tolerance’ cause the systematic and cruel taking of children from their parents’ arms, but it unequivocally failed to deter asylum seekers, inflicted untold trauma on children that will last decades, and made our country less safe.”

“We now know that multiple federal prosecutors raised alarm bells that serious violent criminals were benefiting from the Administration’s obsession with the prosecution of asylum-seeking families. For instance, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Texas noted that the increase in immigration-related prosecutions directly impacted their ability to effectively prosecute ‘Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force’ cases, a clear national security threat.

“The fact that millions of dollars in resources were diverted from important law enforcement and national security functions so that this Administration could prosecute vulnerable asylum-seekers and separate families is an abhorrent misuse and waste of taxpayer funds. History will not look kindly on this era.”