After President Joe Biden reopened border facilities to house unaccompanied minors crossing the southern border, New York progressive Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez turned to Twitter to call for an end to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency and the Department of Homeland Security – or at least a major overhaul. In a series of viral tweets, the young congresswoman assured her followers that change was needed – while conservatives recoiled at her suggestions.
“‘It’s only two [months] into this admin, and our fraught, unjust immigration system will not transform in that time,” the New York representative tweeted on Tuesday. “That’s why bold reimagination is so [important.]”
In the same tweet, she wrote: “DHS shouldn’t exist, agencies should be reorganized, ICE gotta go, ban for-profit detention, create climate refugee status & more.”
Ocasio-Cortez turned to Twitter to discuss immigration reform in support of fellow Democratic Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, who is looking to extend support from the United States to desperate people fleeing areas that have been wrecked by climate change. These people are now called “climate refugees.”
Nevertheless, Biden has reinstated influx centers in Texas and Florida. One in Carrizo Springs, Texas, is designed to temporarily house unaccompanied minors fleeing over the southern border. The shelter in Miami, Florida, entitled Homestead, serves a similar purpose.
“This is not okay, never has been okay, never will be okay – no matter the administration or party,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted Tuesday.
She also wrote: “One short-term shift is requiring influx facilities with children to be licensed. Another issue is whether these services should be contracted out the way they are and whether facilities with controversial records (ex. Homestead) should even be reopened.”
She also wrote, “Sometimes I see people respond to our current immigration policy with ‘Well, what else can we do?’ There’s a lot we can do. To start, Rep. Jayapal has led on the Roadmap to Freedom, a framework for urgently needed changes to US immigration policy.”
In another tweet, she said: “Our immigration system is built on a carceral framework. It’s no accident that challenging how we approach both these issues are considered ‘controversial’ stances. They require reimagining our relationship to each other and challenging common assumptions we take for granted.”
Despite received support from thousands of followers on Twitter, many people still disagree with Ocasio-Cortez’s progressive approach.
Mark Weber, a spokesman for the Department of Health and Human Services, confirmed that some children are being put into influx shelters because of the pandemic. However, Weber assured critics that permanent housing would be preferred.
Weber also addressed the reputation of the influx centers. He confirmed that the Trump administration’s use of them gave the facilities bad names because Trump ordered his ICE agents to fill them with people, including children separated from their parents.
Biden’s administration plans to move away from the “law-enforcement focused” anti-immigration policy that Trump preferred. Under Biden, Weber assured critics that children would be protected and not stripped from the arms of their parents.
What do you think about the changes to immigration policy expected under President Biden?
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