Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN-05) called for abolishing ICE and ending the “criminalization” of “immigrants and those crossing the border.”
The comments were made during a speech Omar gave at a rally Thursday in Washington, D.C. The event was hosted by MoveOn and its allied organizations, who brought a replica of the State of Liberty to “make clear America welcomes immigrants and refugees.”
— MoveOn (@MoveOn) May 16, 2019
“We unveiled a Statue of Liberty replica in D.C. as a reminder to everyone that our immigration policies must be rooted in dignity, human rights, and respect,” Omar wrote on Twitter.
During the rally, Omar said she decided to participate “because we live in a country that was founded on the idea of justice, of liberty, and of the pursuit of happiness.”
“But those core beliefs, these ideas, are being threatened by this administration,” she continued. “This administration has explicitly targeted immigrants and people of color at every single turn. This president would rather demonize immigrants and cage children than pass a comprehensive immigration reform.”
We unveiled a Statue of Liberty replica in DC as a reminder to everyone that our immigration policies must be rooted in dignity, human rights, and respect. Thank you @MoveOn, @UnitedWeDream, and @fams2gether for your solidarity and for hosting this event. pic.twitter.com/wfHfy9q7Vd
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) May 16, 2019
She went on to refer to President Donald Trump as “the occupant of the White House,” a phrase she and her freshman colleagues have been using in place of the president’s official title.
“Make no mistake: when the occupant of the White House chooses to attack people like me, it is a continuation of the attacks he levels against women, people of color, immigrants, refugees, and Muslims throughout his career,” Omar said.
She criticized Trump’s latest immigration plan for “making no mention of DACA,” calling DACA a program that has “been hanging by a thread thanks to court injunctions.”
“A plan that fails to make sure people with temporary protection status and deferred enforced departure recipients have a path to a permanent status or citizenship,” she said of Trump’s immigration proposal. “A plan that seeks to limit asylum seekers fleeing violence.”
“So what are we asking for? What we’re asking for is very simple,” she concluded. “We need to make sure that we cut, and not put increases on, spending on detention facilities. We need to stop using DHS as a slush fund. We need to abolish ICE and end all inhumane deportation and detention programs. We need to fight back against the criminalization of immigrants and those crossing the border.”
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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News, The Ohio Star, and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo “Ilhan Omar” by Lorie Schaull. CC BY-SA 2.0. Background Photo “Ilhan Omar Speaking at Rally” by Moveon.org.