New York gubernatorial candidate and former “Sex and the City” star Cynthia Nixon on Thursday called U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) “a terrorist organization” and called for its abolition, pitting progressive New Yorkers against Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Nixon made her remarks at a church on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, where an illegal immigrant is taking sanctuary after being threatened with deportation after she failed to show a driver’s license during a traffic stop by ICE agents.
“ICE has strayed so far away from its mission. It is supposed to be here to keep Americans safe but what it has turned into, frankly, is a terrorist organization of its own that is terrorizing people who are coming to this country,” she said, according to NY1 News.
“ICE has strayed so far away from its mission. It is supposed to be here to keep Americans safe but what it has turned into frankly is a terrorist organization of its own that is terrorizing people who are coming to this country."
The candidate’s campaign against ICE follows an earlier appearance the same day on ABC’s "The View," where she called for the abolition of the immigration agency.
“I think we need to abolish ICE. That seems really clear. They have strayed so far from the interests of the American people and the interests of humanity,” she said as the audience cheered, claiming ICE is separating parents and children not only at the U.S.-Mexico border but “throughout this country” as well.
Since launching her campaign, the 52-year-old actress-turned-politician has successfully pulled Cuomo to the left on many issues, including granting paroled felons the right to vote in the state, after criticizing him for not being progressive enough. But it appears that the current governor, 60, hasn’t yet evolved on the issue of ICE.
Earlier this week, Cuomo reiterated his support for ICE, saying he doesn’t favor abolishing the agency.
"No, I think ICE should be a bonafide law enforcement organization that prudently and diligently enforces the law," Cuomo said.
He also announced Tuesday the intention to sue the Trump administration for “violating the constitutional rights of immigrant children and their families who have been separated at the border.”
The goal of abolishing ICE has recently become a hot topic among progressives, who now see it as a litmus test for any potential Democratic candidates -- especially in the upcoming 2020 presidential election.
The suggestion isn’t found just among the fringes of the progressive movement. Earlier this year, the idea of abolishing ICE was endorsed by Brian Fallon, a former top aide to 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, and Eric Holder, President Barack Obama’s attorney general.
“ICE operates as an unaccountable deportation force,” Fallon tweeted. “Dems running in 2020 should campaign on ending the agency in its current form.”
U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., a potential 2020 candidate, faced a backlash in March after saying “ICE has a purpose, ICE has a role, ICE should exist” during an interview. She was lambasted by liberal publications for not openly calling for the agency’s abolition.
Fox News’ Alex Pappas contributed to this report.