New York attorney general Letitia James (D.) has appointed a senior counsel who wants to use the state office to "prosecute" and "abolish" Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Zephyr Teachout, a far-left attorney who has vowed to bring charges against ICE and Customs and Border Protection for "lawlessness," announced on Twitter that she was "taking a leave of absence from Fordham Law School to work for the great New York state attorney general @TishJames as a special adviser and senior counsel for economic justice."
"I'm proud to join such an extraordinary office," Teachout wrote in the post on Monday.
James's appointment of Teachout, who briefly ran for attorney general last year before dropping out and endorsing James, comes on the heels of a controversial New York City law passed by the city council in December that allows noncitizens to vote in municipal elections, and as the state legislature mulls bills that would prohibit state law enforcement from working with ICE.
Teachout, who also ran unsuccessfully for attorney general in 2018, has voiced opposition to both ICE and CBP.
"I think it's critical that law enforcement speak out and say [ICE] is a tool of cruelty, unconstitutional behavior, illegality," Teachout said in a video posted by Now This in 2018. "I will prosecute ICE for their criminal acts."
"ICE has to be abolished. And I say that as somebody who is running for one of the top law enforcement jobs in the country," she said, adding that the agency was "born in xenophobia in the time after 9/11, and has grown up to become a tool of fear and illegality."
During her past failed runs for office, Teachout called for ending arrests for low-level crimes and said the state should redirect its resources to "investigate Wall Street, investigate Trump Tower, [and] investigate financial crimes."
"One of the key things of my campaign is the wrong people are in jail. We have to end mass incarceration and return our focus to white collar crime," Teachout said.