Ocasio-Cortez, other Dems accuse ICE and CBP of 'killing' children, call for hold on funding

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., along with a slew of other House Democrats, responded on Saturday to President Trump's announced Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids by calling for the agency's abolition and opposing supplemental funding for both it and Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

The emergency border supplemental bill would provide $1.2 billion to CBP and $128 million to ICE -- two of the primary and most controversial entities responsible for immigration enforcement. Part of that controversy arose after politicians heavily criticized conditions on the southern border. Ocasio-Cortez specifically compared them to "concentration camps."

Those agencies, a group of progressive congresswomen argued, didn't deserve funding due to how they treated families and children.

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"These radicalized, criminal agencies are destroying families and killing innocent children," a statement from Reps. Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., and Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., read. Their accusation appeared to refer to deaths of migrant children while in U.S. custody.

"It is absolutely unconscionable to even consider giving one more dollar to support this President’s deportation force that openly commits human rights abuses and refuses to be held accountable to the American people," the group said.

The group also reiterated some Democrats' claim that ICE should be abolished and called for "an immigration system that reflects our values and respects the dignity and humanity of all."

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Their comments added to the Democrats' mounting outrage after Trump announced his decision to deport "millions" of people over the weekend.

Politicians like Ocasio-Cortez promoted information that immigrants should keep in mind while encountering law enforcement. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, announced she would open one of her Texas offices to migrants "who believe they have a lawful right to stay in the USA."

On Saturday morning, Trump reiterated his intent to carry out deportations but announced later that he changed his mind.

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"At the request of Democrats, I have delayed the Illegal Immigration Removal Process (Deportation) for two weeks to see if the Democrats and Republicans can get together and work out a solution to the Asylum and Loophole problems at the Southern Border," he tweeted.

"If not, Deportations start!" he added, pressuring Democrats to make a deal on immigration reform. Amid the ongoing crisis, Acting CBP Commissioner John Sanders pressed Congress to pass the supplemental funding that the progressive lawmakers opposed.

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He said the emergency funding package included $3 billion that would provide care to unaccompanied minor migrants.

"We need to be thinking not only about the care for the people in our custody," he said. "I have a 60,000-person workforce that is strained, are getting sick. The people of CBP need assistance for them."