Gillibrand: ICE Has Become A "Deportation Force," Start Over With Immigration Enforcement


Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) told CNN's Chris Cuomo on Thursday night that she supports ending U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), claiming they have become a deportation force.

CUOMO: A newcomer, 28-year-old Puerto Rican, Ocasio, won against a ten-term congresswoman -- congressman, Joe Crowley. She had some words for you. She put out a tweet about it if we have it for the audience.

Disappointing that Gillibrand didn’t even bother to talk nor consider me before endorsing. You’d think a progressive leader would at least be interested in how a no corporate money, Bronx Latina triggered the first New York 14th primary and 14 years on progressive issues.

What do you make of her point?

GILLIBRAND: She ran an amazing race. And the issues she ran on are fantastic issues. And I supported Joe because he’s my friend and because of his leadership, we passed the 9/11 health bill.

So I was going to support him regardless of how great she is. But it doesn’t mean I can’t be excited for her election and what she’s actually going to do.

I think she’s going to shake up Congress. I think she’s going to make a difference. I think this country is yearning for young women voices, women of colors’ voices. She’s going to make a difference and that’s good for America, it’s good for New York, it’s good for democracy.

CUOMO: You know it gets tricky. I know Crowley’s your friend, but you believe in her positions but you didn’t endorse and this is kind of what you’re seeing within your party in figuring out who do you guys want to get behind. If you had to do it again, would you have backed her?

GILLIBRAND: No. I mean, I back Joe for a reason. We’ve worked together for a decade and we worked really hard on a lot of legislation, including the 9/11 health bill. So, he earned my vote.

But it doesn’t mean that Alexandria is not going to come to Washington and make a difference.

CUOMO: She’s also got some positions that are even to the left of Bernie Sanders. She wants to get rid of ICE.

Now, what are you going to do with your party if you do come into a majority and you have a significant number, at least in influence, of people who have that kind of a position?

GILLIBRAND: Well, I agree with it. I don’t think ICE today is working as intended. I believe --

CUOMO: But you think you should get rid of the agency?

GILLIBRAND: I believe that it has become a deportation force, and I think you should separate the criminal justice from the immigration issues, and I think you should re-imagine ICE under a new agency with a very different mission and take those two missions out.

And so we believe that we should protect families that need our help, and that is not what ICE is doing today, and that’s why I believe you should get rid of it, start over, re-imagine it, and build something that actually works.

CUOMO: All right. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, thank you very much for making the time. We know you’ve got a vote schedule. Appreciate it.

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