‘I believe you should get rid of it, start over, re-imagine it and build something that actually works…’
(Ben Sellers, Liberty Headlines) As Democratic hopefuls eye the 2020 field, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand revealed a sharp left turn in her immigration positions on CNN Thursday, calling for the abolishment of the 15-year-old Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.
“I believe that it has become a deportation force, and I think you should separate the criminal justice from the immigration issues,” she said of ICE, which was created after 9/11 as part of the Department of Homeland Security.
CNN anchor Chris Cuomo set up Gillibrand with the softball pitch to unveil her new about-face, characterizing her stance as “even to the left of Bernie Sanders.”
“We believe that we should protect families that need our help, and that is not what ICE is doing today,” Gillibrand said. “And that’s why I believe you should get rid of it, start over, re-imagine it and build something that actually works.”
New York’s junior senator, who was appointed to replace Hillary Clinton after the 2008 election, is the most recent to hop on the bandwagon supporting the latest liberal talking point to abolish ICE.
Political novice Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez caught the attention of many blue-state Democrats with her surprise upset over veteran congressman Joe Crowley in Tuesday’s primary.
Although President Donald Trump gleefully celebrated the ouster of the “slovenly” Crowley during a rally in North Dakota, Ocasio-Cortez’s socialist-tinged platform – which included opposition to ICE – was a bellwether for others on how Democrats may try to recalibrate their pro-immigration tactic.
Former “Sex and the City” star Cynthia Nixon (who faces Chris Cuomo’s brother, current New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, during the Empire State’s Democratic gubernatorial primary in September) also joined the anti-ICE chorus, calling it a “terrorist organization.”
While the political newcomers had no prior record to compare with, however, Gillibrand’s long history of supporting immigration policy during the Obama years raised some eyebrows.
Conservative political action committee America Rising PAC noted several past inconsistencies from Gillibrand’s brief stint in the House of Representatives and first term in the Senate, in which she expressed staunch opposition to amnesty, supported a bill to accelerate deportations and opposed issuing government identification to illegal immigrants.