Representative Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) called for the defunding of immigration agencies in an interview with Just Futures Law released on Wednesday.
She discussed the northern border of the United States, using anecdotal evidence to say that there has been racial profiling near the border between the U.S. and Canada. She said that there has been a militarization of areas near the border as well.
As reported by Fox News, “Tlaib was asked about the push by the Biden administration to increase money spent on border technology for Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) border request includes $665 million in investments toward modernizing land ports of entry and $47 million to invest in detection capabilities in addition to investments in border surveillance technology.”
Tlaib was asked about what can be done in order to make sure that even Democrats don’t embrace new technologies that have been allegedly marketed as a “smart” alternative to “Trump’s wall.”
“Look, the simple answer to that question is we must eliminate funding for [Customs and Border Protection], [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] and their parent organization, [Department of Homeland Security],” she said.
“Time after time we have seen it as advocates on the ground, as human services agencies on the ground to continue to see over and over again, that these agencies are inept to humanely guiding migrants through our immigration system and… instead they further continue to terrorize migrant communities located within our communities,” she said.
“This approach is something that many of, especially the new members of Congress, are coming with full force and pushing back against this idea,” Tlaib said. “They rename this kind of militarization or targeting in a very inhumane way of our immigrant neighbors, but when it comes down to it it is the same thing – which is targeting communities of color in a way that is, to me, very much violates human rights and dignity for so many of our communities.”
She said that it is a “myth” that “more advanced technology will inherently make our border more safe and secure.” She added that instead, the new technology has “turned and terrorized” some communities and made them less safe and “fearful of our own government.”
“This is a distraction to what is really needed, which is full comprehensive immigration reform policies in our country. We are far from even getting to that conversation because people are distracted with these for-profit, corporate greed approaches that are coming to experiment on our immigrants and at our border,” she added. “And I say ‘enough.’ Enough in trying to collect DNA or put facial recognition technology that doesn’t recognize brown and black faces, it’s racism itself.”
“Stop telling the communities that you’re supposed to keep safe that this is the way to be safe in our communities,” she added. “…If anything, they’re turning around and using the same criminalization and militarization on our own neighbors. And I tell this to my residents who say, ‘I’m a U.S. citizen, I was born here.’ I say, ‘Just wait. Wait, sis, because they will turn and ask you for your documentation…’”
“Whatever they call it, all I know is it is a money-making scheme and they’re using our immigrant neighbors and our border as an experiment project,” she said.
Instead of focusing more on ways to reform the current immigration system, Tlaib once again doubled down on criticism of the immigration agencies tasked with keeping U.S. citizens safe.
The border crisis has grown under the Biden administration, creating a situation that border states such as Texas have struggled to keep under control. Ohio became the most recent state to announce it would be sending National Guard troops to the border this year after Arizona Governor Doug Ducey (R) and Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) sent a letter to all 50 governors asking that they send “all available law-enforcement resources to the border in defense of our sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
As reported by Forbes, “180,034…migrants were intercepted by law enforcement along the U.S.-Mexico border in May, according to figures released by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, up slightly from April but still representing a 20-year high.”