Tlaib, AOC, others want to kill ICE funding after Trump’s proposed raids

U.S. Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib | Getty and Andrew Roth photos

President Donald Trump announced last week on Twitter that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) would begin rounding up undocumented immigrants for deportation, sparking panic and concern from immigrant rights advocates.

CNN reported that raids were slated in 10 large cities: Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York and San Francisco, and the goal was to detain people from up to 2,000 families.

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) asked Trump to call off the raids, CNN also reported. Although Trump relented, he promised that unless Democrats give in to his demands, a “big Deportation” will begin in two weeks (adding an exclamation point, again on Twitter).

Meanwhile, a Trump official argued in court that migrant children don’t need soap, toothbrushes or beds in detention facilities. The Associated Press reported on lawyers touring a facility in Clint, Texas, where they interviewed 60 children and found rampant neglect of the 250 infants, children and teenagers, who don’t have their basic needs met, like access to adequate food and water.

The U.S. House is set to consider an emergency border supplemental. Sponsor U.S. Rep. Nina Lowey (D-N.Y.) said the $4.5 billion will address the “humanitarian crisis at the border” and help migrants.

But on Saturday, four progressive congresswomen, including U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit), said that ICE and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) should not get any funding. In a statement, Tlaib and U.S. Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) said that CBP was set to get $1.2 billion in the bill and ICE would receive $128 million.

People who call themselves Dreamers, protest in front of the Senate side of the US Capitol to urge Congress in passing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, on December 6, 2017 in Washington, DC. | Mark Wilson/Getty Images

“The Trump Administration would rather criminalize immigrants, separate families, and detain refugees than practice empathy and compassion. Recent reports of a massive deportation operation, targeting thousands of immigrant families in major cities across the country are further evidence that this President will stop at nothing in order to carry out his hateful agenda,” the members of Congress said.

“These radicalized, criminal agencies are destroying families and killing innocent children. 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 four members of Congress said that’s why they cannot “in good conscience” support the bill.

Wikimedia Commons

“If these blatant human rights abuses were taking place in any other country, the United States government would rightfully demand transparency, accountability and call for international organizations to investigate abuses and assist in the safe, swift delivery of humanitarian aid. We cannot turn our backs on the abuses taking place on our own soil, executed by our own government,” they said.

Tlaib, Ocasio-Cortez, Omar and Pressley ended by calling to “abolish ICE,” investing in “community-based alternatives to detention,”  and ending the system of mass detention and deportation of immigrants.

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Susan J. Demas is an 18-year journalism veteran and one of the state’s foremost experts on Michigan politics, appearing on MSNBC, CNN, NPR and WKAR-TV’s “Off the Record.” In addition to serving as Editor-in-Chief, she is the Advance’s chief columnist, writing on women, LGBTQs, the state budget, the economy and more. Most recently, she served as Vice President of Farough & Associates, Michigan’s premier political communications firm. For almost five years, Susan was the Editor and Publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, the most-cited political newsletter in the state. Susan’s award-winning political analysis has run in more than 80 national, international and regional media outlets, including the Guardian U.K., NBC News, the New York Times, the Detroit News and MLive. She is the only Michigan journalist to be named to the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Reporters,” the Huffington Post’s list of “Best Political Tweeters” and the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Bloggers.” Susan was the recipient of a prestigious Knight Foundation fellowship in nonprofits and politics. She served as Deputy Editor for MIRS News and helped launch the Michigan Truth Squad, the Center for Michigan’s fact-checking project. She started her journalism career reporting on the Iowa caucuses for The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette. Susan has hiked over 3,000 solo miles across four continents and climbed more than 60 mountains. She also enjoys dragging her husband and two teenagers along, even if no one else wants to sleep in a tent anymore.

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