Pressley (D) Goes Off in Radio Interview: ICE, CBP Are ‘Rogue’ Agencies, Trump Distracts from Real Emergency of Homelessness

Ayanna Pressley
Ayanna Pressley / Getty Images
• February 22, 2019 7:20 pm


Freshman Democratic Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D., Mass.) called for decreasing funds for the "rogue" Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) during an interview on Boston Public Radio on Friday.

Pressley discussed why she voted against the appropriations bill which reopened the government and allocated funds for a border wall.

"I’m proud to be a Democrat, and honored to be serving in Congress at a time when the country is at such a crossroads, but I had to put a marker down early that if we were going to increase funding to ICE or the CBP, then I couldn’t support it because I think the best predictor of the future is the past, and these are agencies that have proven themselves to be rogue. And I did not want them to be further emboldened by racist policies," Pressley said.

"A monument to hate is not keeping us safe from any real threats, and then it doesn't address the intersectionality and the complexities of what needs to happen so far as immigration is concerned," Pressley continued.

Later, Pressley said the ICE and CBP deserved less funding.

"I'm disappointed that there was an increase in money to an agency that has proven itself to be rogue and unaccountable … We need to be decreasing money to ICE and CBP, not increasing it," Pressley said.

Pressley also labeled the situation at the border a "fake emergency," and called President Donald Trump's declaration of a national emergency "a complete overreach and abuse of authority."

As for Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, Pressley said Trump "has lost all moral authority and high ground, and certainly it appears there could be evidence of obstruction of justice and other things, but I can’t substantiate until I see this report whether or not there's been collusion and these sorts of things."

Pressley reiterated that "impeachment has always been on the table and should be on the table." In September, Pressley said Democrats would "do whatever we can" to impeach Trump, although House leadership has been reluctant on the issue.

Earlier this month, Congress passed a compromise bill to avoid a government shutdown and provide $1.375 billion for border barriers. The bill passed the House by a vote of 300 to 128, and the Senate by a vote of 83 to 16.

Pressley joined Reps. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.), Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.), and Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) in a letter last month which called for cutting funding to the Department of Homeland Security. Prior to the vote on the spending bill, the same four congresswomen expressed opposition to it because it gave more money to "abusive agencies."

Published under: Ayanna Pressley, CBP, DHS, ICE