Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY, addressed a letter to federal immigration officials decrying the agency’s policy of targeting illegal immigrants who are violent gang members for deportation, Fox News reported.
With support from 34 other Democrat Congress members, Ocasio-Cortez addressed the letter to Immigration and Customs Enforcement director Tae Johnson, arguing for an overhaul of the current immigration policy.
According to Ocasio-Cortez, the ICE policy to deport gang members “does not adequately protect the liberty interests of asylum seekers.”
Further, the “border security and enforcement and removal priority” does too little to protect felons.
“We need humane and just immigration policies that aim to end mass incarceration, criminalization and deportation of immigrants,” she added in a tweet.
Though AOC predictably defended illegal immigrants at all costs, she also argued that American law is unfit for modern times.
In the letter she claimed that the “definition of an aggravated felony” is a “relic of the racist War on Drugs,” a category which “has been interpreted to include many state drug misdemeanors.”
“‘Aggravated felonies’ as a category have been designed to ensure that people have as few rights as possible to fight detention and deportation,” she added.
Nevertheless, Democrat lawmakers argued that imprisonment is not the appropriate response for lawbreaking, and deportation is not the appropriate punishment for illegal immigration.
“We are in a moment of racial reckoning in this country, with communities across the country calling for an end to mass incarceration and racist policing,” the letter continued. “It is time to end the carceral approach to immigration, which relies on these same flawed systems.”