On Thursday evening, New York gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon was speaking at a church on Manhattan’s Upper West Side where Debora Vasquez-Barrios, an undocumented immigrant, is taking sanctuary after ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) officers threatened to deport her. Vasquez-Barrios, who has two small children, faces deportation after she failed to procure a driver’s license during a traffic stop instigated by ICE agents.
Not only did Nixon call for the abolition of ICE, as she has before, she also called ICE a “terrorist organization.” The full quote being (according to NY1 News):
“ICE has strayed so far away from its mission. It is supposed to be here to keep Americans safe but what it has turned into frankly is a terrorist organization of its own that is terrorizing people who are coming to this country.
Earlier in the day, Nixon appeared on The View, where she also expressed her desire to abolish ICE in similar, though slightly less truculent, terms. Nixon said, “I think it’s important to know also parents and children aren’t just being separated at the border. They are being separated throughout this country by ICE. I think we need to abolish ICE. That seems really clear. They have strayed so far from the interests of the American people and the interests of humanity.”
And, no, current New York Governor Andrew Cuomo does not support abolishing ICE. When asked about the issue earlier this week, Cuomo reportedly said, “No, I think ICE should be a bonafide law enforcement organization that prudently and diligently enforces the law.”
To my mind, calling ICE a terrorist organization could be a useful bit of rhetoric if it gets people more fired up about the agency’s mistreatment and abuse of immigrants. Unequivocally, abolish that shit.