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'Squad' member Tlaib calls for defunding immigration agencies because they 'terrorize migrant communities'

"Look, the simple answer to that question is we must eliminate funding for CBP, ICE and their parent organization, DHS," Rep. Tlaib said.

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Hannah Nightingale Washington DC
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In an interview released Wednesday, Squad member Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) called for the defunding of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Customs and Border Protection, and the Department of Homeland Security agencies for allegedly terrorizing migrant communities.

"Look, the simple answer to that question is we must eliminate funding for CBP, ICE and their parent organization, DHS," Tlaib told Just Futures Law, a group that according to Fox News fights for "a future beyond deportation and criminalization."

The interview, which was uploaded to YouTube on Wednesday, was made private shortly after publishing.

"Time after time we have seen it as advocates on the ground, as human services agencies on the ground 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," Tlaib continued.

Tlaib was asked about the Biden administration's push to increase spending on border technology for CBP, with the DHS requesting "$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," according to Fox News.

Tlaib expressed concerns over how this funding for technologies, including facial recognition and DNA testing, would be used to prevent migrants from crossing into the US, a concern that Tlaib said many New Democratic Congress members hold.

"This approach is something that many, especially the new members of Congress, are coming with full force and pushing back against this idea," Talib 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 to me very much violates human rights and dignity for so many of our communities."

Tlaib also argued that this technology would not make America safer, and that lawmakers should focus more on comprehensive immigration reform.

"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 our border," she said. "And I say 'enough.'"

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