Ocasio-Cortez Votes To Fund ICE, Then Attacks Trump For Supporting ICE

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During her first few days in Congress, socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez voted to fund Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and then turned around and attacked President Donald Trump for supporting the same agency.

 

"The president should not be asking for more money to an agency that has systematically violated human rights," Ocasio-Cortez said on Tuesday while talking about ICE. "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's comments were confusing given the fact that she voted to fund ICE last week when she voted "aye" on a continuing resolution that funded the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which controls ICE.

As The Daily Caller noted, Ocasio-Cortez "appeared to forget that Congress — not the president — controls budget appropriations and determines which agencies continue to receive what funding."

 

WATCH:

 

Full transcript of Ocasio-Cortez's interview on Maddow provided via MSNBC:

Joining us now is Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York.

Congresswoman, thank you so much for being with us tonight. I`m really

happy to have you here with us on the show.

REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D), NEW YORK: Of course. Thank you for

having me, Rachel.

MADDOW: So, let me start by getting your top line reaction to the

president`s speech tonight. You have never been a member of Congress while

the government wasn`t shut down, so, obviously, this is a strange

circumstance for you and your colleagues in the freshman class to be taking

your first steps.

OCASIO-CORTEZ: Yes, absolutely. I cannot tell you the amount of

dysfunction that this president is advancing. We now have over 100 new

members of the freshman class.

I cannot even get laptops to my caseworkers on the ground in the Bronx and

Queens so they can process the needs of our constituents. We can`t

mortgage – you know, we cannot get case work started because we can`t even

get laptops in the hands of our district offices because the president has

decided to hold the paychecks of everyday Americans hostage so that he can

fulfill a campaign, I don`t even – I don`t even want to call it a promise,

a campaign fantasy that the vast majority of Americans disapprove of.

And not only that, but in the actual address, there was falsehood after

falsehood, and we have to make sure that we get our facts straight. Every

day, immigrants commit crimes at a far lower rate than native-born

Americans. And not only that, but the women and children on that border

that are trying to seek refuge and seek opportunity in the United States of

America with nothing but the shirt on their backs are acting more American

than any person who seeks to keep them out ever will be.

MADDOW: Are you at all dissuaded – not dissuaded, I guess it`s a wrong

word. Dismayed or discouraged by the fact that the president has been

saying the same untrue things about immigrant crime, about the terrible

character of immigrants coming into this country, about a false

relationship that he has invented between violent crime and immigration.

We heard him tell falsehoods tonight contradicted even by his own

administration about this flood – as he described it, a pipeline of drugs

coming across the southern border, his own Drug Enforcement Administration

has said that the vast majority of drugs, even those coming from the south

of, from south from this country are coming through ports of entry and not

over anything that would be stopped by a wall.

Are you discouraged or what`s your sort of strategic take on the fact that

the president has been telling the same lies for years now and not shying

away from them at all?

OCASIO-CORTEZ: Well, I think it`s not unsurprising because even before he

was elected president of the United States, he has proven track record of

discrimination against anybody that`s really none white in the United

States. He had been sued by the Nixon administration back in the day for

not renting to black Americans. He has had controversy after controversy.

So, this is very consistent. It`s not just the continued lies throughout

his administration but frankly, it`s part of a very consistent pattern of

his entire life.

But I think it`s extremely important – you know, I represent New York`s

14th congressional. We are 50 percent immigration. I represent the Bronx

and Queens, Jackson Heights, over 200 languages are spoken in my district

alone. We enjoy some of the highest rates of economic activity and the

Bronx itself has had some of the highest rates of economic growth in all of

New York City and that has been directly, directly correlated with our

embrace of immigrants.

New York City overall is an immigrant city and we enjoy a very large amount

of economic and cultural prosperity as a result.

MADDOW: The president has been singing this same song that he did a

different version of tonight in the Oval Office, since the very, very start

of his campaign. He has made anti-immigrant rhetoric and often factually

incorrect screeds demonizing immigrants, more core to his presidency than

any form of his rhetoric.

And so, in your district, in a district as you say that is not just diverse

but 50 percent immigrant and that you`re talking about the sort of economic

relationship that you can see between immigrant economic activity and the

overall performance of your district, what`s the consequence of having

somebody as president who has made this core to his message and to what he

wants his presidency to mean? What is the harm that`s caused by him

talking this way and using this sort of platform the way he has even when

he can`t get his policies passed?

OCASIO-CORTEZ: I can – I can tell you a very personal story. And as many

people know, I was working in restaurants just a year ago. And when the

president first assumed office with his – with his racist and violent

rhetoric, people started to send themselves home. And as we know, in

restaurants, hospitality, every American eats if you can, if you`re lucky

enough or we`re able to eat three times a day.

And that means we interact with the people who prepare our food three times

a day. When those people start to go home, local or rather go back to

their countries which they originated from because many of them consider

the United States their home, those places, they go into dysfunction.

I remember one of our lead cooks brought himself back to Mexico because he

was so scared of the president`s rhetoric. We had an insane amount of

dysfunction.

We`re talking about local restaurants. We`re talking about local

businesses. We`re talking about shuttering neighborhoods. And we`re

talking about people feeling unsafe.

And no one should feel unsafe in the United States of America. And that

includes our amazing and beautiful and productive immigrant community.

And moreover, the one thing the president has not talked about is the fact

he has systematically engaged in the violation of international human

rights borders on – human rights on our border. He has separated children

from their families. He talked about what happened the day of Christmas on

the day of Christmas, a child died in ICE custody.

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. These children and these families are being held in what are

called hieleras, which are basically freezing boxes that no person should

be maintained in.

For any amount of time, let alone the amount of time they are being kept

on, and more over, even if you are anti-immigrant in this country, the

majority of immigrant overstays, the majority of the reason that people are

undocumented is visa overstay. It`s not because people are crossing a

border illegally. It is because of visa overstay which mind you, he`s

talking about legal immigration, he`s trying to restrict every form of

legal immigration there is in the United States.

He`s fighting against family reunification. He`s fighting against the

diversity visa lottery. He`s fighting against almost ever way that people

can actually legally enter this country, forcing them to become

undocumented, and then he`s trying to attack their undocumented status.

This is systematic. It is wrong and it is anti-American. And again, those

women and children trying to come here with nothing but the shirts on their

back to create an opportunity and to provide for this nation are acting

more in an American tradition than this president is right now.

MADDOW: Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, thank you so

much for being with us tonight. I know this is your first time being here

on the show and I know that you have been one of the highest profile

members of this new Congress and you`ve got a lot of pressures on your

time. Thanks for making time to be here and I hope you`ll come back.

OCASIO-CORTEZ: Of course. Thank you so much.

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