During a press conference Thursday, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez gave a fiery speech, calling on her fellow Congress members to slash funding for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), adding that the agency is criminalizing Latino people in the U.S., in their “native land.”
Immigrants have always been a part of the U.S., she added, lambasting the agency for its harsh treatment of undocumented immigrants, Newsweek reports. ICE does “not deserve a dime until they can prove that they are honoring human rights until they can make a good faith effort to expand and embrace immigrants.
As it stands, ICE does “not deserve any resource for their radical agenda,” she said.
“We have to have respect for children, respect for families, respect for human rights and respect for the right of human mobility. Because it is a right. It is a right. Because we are standing on native land and Latino people are descendants of native people,” she said. “And we cannot be told and criminalized simply for our identity or our status. Period.”
Standing alongside colleagues Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, and Ayanna Pressley, Ocasio-Cortez wiped away a tear at one point.
The young democratic socialist (New York) tore into President Donald Trump, calling his claim of wanting legal immigration “a lie,” Mediaite reports. She criticized Trump’s harsh policies that persecute immigrants.
“Not only will we not agree to fund [ICE], but we are here to say that an agency like ICE, which repeatedly and systematically violates human rights, does not deserve a dime,” Ocasio-Cortez added. “Does not deserve a dime.”
The agency needs to step up and remember that immigrants have always been a part of the U.S. and if it wants funding, change is eminently necessary, she noted.
“Until they can prove that they are honoring human rights until they can make a good-faith effort to expand and embrace immigrants, the immigrants in this nation that have always been a part, and have always been a core element of American democracy, until they can prove good faith to an American ideal they do not deserve any resources for their radical agenda,” Ocasio-Cortez continued.
And Ocasio-Cortez minced no words in condemning the agency’s policies which are often cruel.
“As overseen by the Trump administration, ICE operates with virtually no accountability, ripping apart families and holding our friends and neighbors indefinitely in inhumane detention centers scattered across the United States,” her campaign website notes, further stating that she “believes that if we are to uphold civic justice, we must abolish ICE and see to it that our undocumented neighbors are treated with the dignity and respect owed to all people, regardless of citizenship status.”
But Trump continues to belabor his wall and reiterated his support for ICE during his Tuesday State of The Union address. He commended “our brave ICE officers” for making “266,000 arrests of criminal aliens, including those charged or convicted of nearly 100,000 assaults, 30,000 sex crimes, and 4,000 killings in the past two years.”
However, there’s no evidence that immigrants (undocumented or otherwise) commit more crimes than American-born residents, NBC News reports. At the very most, 450-600 homicides are committed by undocumented immigrants.
It seems that Trump is pulling this out of the air, or out of some other less complimentary part. It’s no wonder that Ocasio-Cortez is angry. He’s maligning people who have done nothing to deserve this.
Here’s Ocasio-Cortez in action.
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