Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) on Thursday criticized U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement and argued in support of undocumented Latinos in the United States, saying the latter cannot be "criminalized" on "Native" U.S. land because they are "descendants of Native people."
The self-described Democratic socialist spoke on Thursday alongside several liberal groups, including MoveOn and United We Dream, a pro-immigration group that calls for ICE to be abolished. She repeatedly slammed ICE, claiming it "repeatedly and systematically violates human rights."
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"They do not deserve a dime until they can prove that they are honoring human rights, until they can make a good faith effort to expand and embrace immigrants … Until they can prove good faith to an American ideal, they do not deserve any resources for their radical agenda. We have to have respect for children, respect for families, respect for human rights, and respect for the right of human mobility," Ocasio-Cortez said of the agency tasked with enforcing U.S. immigration laws.
The freshman congresswoman went on to suggest ICE has not given due respect to those who enter the country illegally. The United Sates must "respect for the right of human mobility," she said before adding, "because it is a right."
"Because we are standing on Native land, and Latino people are descendants of Native people. And we cannot be … criminalized simply for our identity or our status."
"We are a nation and land of laws, not just [one where] some people are subject to laws and others are not," she said. "We are a land of laws."
The Office of Management and Budget’s 2010 Census Brief defines "Hispanic or Latino" as a "person of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin regardless of race," per NTK Network.
This isn't the first time that Ocasio-Cortez has criticized ICE.
MSNBC host Rachel Maddow asked Ocasio-Cortez to respond to a primetime address President Donald Trump gave last month about the situation at the U.S. southern border, prompting her to castigate the president for requesting funding for ICE.
"The president should not be asking for more money to an agency that has systematically violated human rights. The president should be really defending why we are funding such an agency at all because right now what we are seeing is death. Right now what we are seeing is the violation of human rights," Ocasio-Cortez said.
She argued that the primary reason for undocumented immigrants in the United States is "Visa overstay" versus people crossing over the border illegally. She accused Trump of trying to restrict "every form of legal immigration there is in the United States."