New York Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Thursday vowed to defund U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and said all Latino people must be exempt from immigration laws because they are “native” to U.S. lands as they are descendants of Native people.
The Democrat Socialist made a speech against immigration laws and promised to abolish ICE just before she unveiled her widely-mocked Green New Deal on the same day. Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar and Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib also joined the calls to abolish ICE.
"[ICE] do 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 … Until they can prove good faith to an American ideal, they do not deserve any resources for their radical agenda,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
“We have to have respect for children, respect for families, respect for human rights, and respect for the right of human mobility,” she added.
Ocasio-Cortez then said the U.S. must adhere to “the right of human mobility” and went on to suggest that Latino people cannot be criminalized because they are Native people.
"Because we are standing on Native land, and Latino people are descendants of Native people. And we cannot be told and criminalized simply for our identity and our status,” she said.
"Because we are standing on Native land, and Latino people are descendants of Native people. And we cannot be told and criminalized simply for our identity and our status.”
"We are a nation and land of laws, not just [one where] some people are subject to laws and others are not," she continued. "We are a land of laws."
The Democrats’ calls to abolish ICE were met with criticism from Republicans who accused the Democrats of endangering the country.
“Last year, ICE removed a Nazi from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s district. Her response: Abolish ICE. This week, MS-13 murdered someone in her district. Her response: Abolish ICE. AOC's calls aren't just endangering her community, they're endangering the entire country,” Ronna McDaniel, the chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, wrote in a tweet.
The “abolish ICE” movement, while remains prevalent mostly within the far-left of the party, has gained traction last year, with New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, now a 2020 presidential candidate, endorsing the idea.
President Trump on Tuesday defended the agency against the calls for defunding, saying during the State of the Union address that America “will never abolish our heroes from ICE.”