Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezTwo Republicans sue Ocasio-Cortez over Twitter blocks Overnight Defense: Drama over 3B House defense bill | Democratic tensions threaten to snag legislation | White House threatens veto | US, Taliban talks end with ‘roadmap for peace’ Dem tensions snag defense bill MORE (D-N.Y.) suggested that she is open to dissolving the Department of Homeland Security in an interview the New Yorker published Wednesday.
The New York freshman said that Immigrations and Customs Enforcement “and, frankly, the entire Department of Homeland Security” are “very large threats to American civil liberties.”
“Would you get rid of Homeland Security, too?” The New Yorker Radio Hour’s David Remnick asked.
“I think so. I think we need to undo a lot of the egregious mistakes that the Bush Administration did,” she replied. “I feel like it is a very qualified and supported position, at least in terms of evidence and in terms of being able to make the argument that we never should have created D.H.S., in the early two-thousands.”
The DHS was formed in 2002, a process which brought together several existing institutions under one agency roof.
Ocasio-Cortez’s position seems to be one step further than the progressive argument that ICE should be abolished.
The Hill reached out Ocasio-Cortez’s office for clarification whether she backs re-assigning DHS sub-agencies or abolishing the entire agency.
The lawmaker has been an outspoken critic of the Trump administration’s immigration policies and treatment of detained migrants.
Ocasio-Cortez recently accompanied a group of Democratic lawmakers to two detention facilities in Texas and described the conditions there as “horrible.”
She said she witnessed “some of the most inhumane behavior” during the interview.
“It’s not even living… it was the physical manifestation of Trump’s rhetoric and calling migrants animals because that’s how these women were being treated, their hair was falling out, they had sores in their mouths due to the lack of nutrition..the cruelty is the point,” she said.
Ocasio-Cortez’s suggestion about dissolving the DHS has already elicited backlash from conservatives.
“We’ve heard them talk about abolishing ICE before, but [Ocasio-Cortez] now said she wants to abolish the entire department. And we will just remind everyone that the Department of Homeland Security is comprised of approximately 22 agencies, they undertake fundamental cyber, Intel operations for the nation,” Rep. Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyPennsylvania Republican expected to replace Amash on Oversight Amash resigns from House GOP conference, Oversight panel Liz Cheney hits back at Ocasio-Cortez over concentration camp comments: ‘This isn’t model Congress’ MORE (Wyo.), the third-ranking House Republican, told reporters Wednesday.
“The level of just absolute irresponsibility now that we are seeing in the Democratic side among someone who clearly is one of the intellectual leaders now in the Democratic Party, is really stunning,” she added.
Florida Sen. Rick Scott (R) blasted the suggestion as “ridiculous.”
“The Dept. of Homeland Security has been invaluable to our country’s safety since it was created after the 9/11 attacks,” he tweeted. “ICE & CBP agents risk their lives to keep us safe while Dems sit in their comfy offices & attack them. It’s shameful.”
The Dept. of Homeland Security has been invaluable to our country’s safety since it was created after the 9/11 attacks. ICE & CBP agents risk their lives to keep us safe while Dems sit in their comfy offices & attack them. It’s shameful. https://t.co/1RNIGR4yrO
— Rick Scott (@SenRickScott) July 10, 2019
–Juliegrace Brufke contributed to this report