Ilhan Omar says it is ‘un-American’ for ICE to detain suspected illegal immigrants as she repeats calls for the agency to be defunded

  • The Democratic lawmaker for Minnesota has long called for the abolition of ICE 
  • The agency requested extra space to detain more immigrants in her home state 
  • Omar responded that it is wrong to criminalize people for wanting to come to the U.S


PUBLISHED: 09:38 GMT, 7 June 2019 | UPDATED: 09:38 GMT, 7 June 2019

Reprinted By Imanche Sunday Adiyoh on March 9, 2024

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) called for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to be defunded yesterday, saying it was ‘un-American’ to detain immigrants for wanting to come to the United States. 

The Democratic Congresswoman tweeted following a report that the Sherburne County jail in her home state of Minnesota had offered 300 extra beds to ICE so that it could house more detainees. 

The proposal – following the agency’s call for extra space in the state – would take the total number of beds the jail provides to 500.   

‘It’s un-American to criminalize immigrants for wanting to come to this country for a better life. This is why ICE should be defunded,’ she tweeted. 

According to MPR News, it is not yet clear whether ICE will accept the jail’s offer. 

The website reported that three-quarters of ICE detainees last year had previous convictions. But the agency also arrests other illegal immigrants with no criminal background.

Omar and other Democratic lawmakers have long called for the abolition of the agency, which came under fire last year for separating nearly 3,000 minors from their parents as they tried to enter the U.S. and placing them in detention centers under the Trump administration’s ‘zero tolerance’ policy.

‘ICE is militarized, brutal, and unaccountable. Immigration policy should be based on compassion. ICE is not the solution, we need to abolish ICE,’ Rep. Omar tweeted on July 2, last year. 

Last month, she reiterated her call to scrap the agency in a speech to liberal activists, saying: ‘We need to abolish ICE and end all inhumane deportation and detention programs. 

‘We need to fight back against the criminalization of immigrants and those crossing the border. 

‘We need to create a fair and accessible path to legal status and citizenship for all undocumented people in the United States.’ 

Rep. Omar’s latest tweet comes days after acting ICE director Mark Morgan branded calls to defund the agency as ‘irresponsible’. 

Morgan, who joined ICE in May after heading up the US Border Patrol, appeared on Fox News on Wednesday night and blasted Congress for refusing to do what is needed to address the crisis at the Mexico border.

He aimed at legislators who would like to see ICE abolished, specifically mentioning freshman firebrand Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). 

Self-identified democratic socialist Ocasio-Cortez has said that shutting down ICE is ‘one of the more urgent moral issues and crises that we have in America right now.’ 

‘If you talk about abolishing ICE, it is irresponsible,’ Morgan told host Laura Ingraham. 

‘Last year alone, there were 34,000 criminal arrests, 5,000 gang members arrested. There are thousands of cases of child smuggling, exploitation, and human trafficking.

‘I would like to talk to that young congresswoman and have her tell me what is going to happen if ICE is abolished,’ he said of Rep. Ocasio-Cortez.

Earlier this year, it emerged that two high-ranking ICE special agents were under review by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for sharing and liking anti-immigrant posts on social media about Rep. Omar.

Leslie Derewonko, a Homeland Security Investigations senior agent, reportedly shared a post that suggested the Muslim-American lawmaker was a terrorist threat.

That post was then ‘liked’ by Jerry Templet, the second-in-command of Homeland Security Investigations in San Francisco, according to Buzzfeed News.

On the LinkedIn post, Derewonko is said to have shared a video that described the first-term Minnesota congresswoman as a ‘trojan horse’. 

It said Omar, who spent part of her youth in a Kenyan refugee camp after fleeing war-torn Somalia, came to the US because of the refugee outbreak’ under former president Barack Obama.

The clip then claims to show Omar admitting to taking ‘terrorism classes.’

Derewonko reportedly commented: ‘And this is what represents America?’ before the post was liked by Templet. 

One thought on “Ilhan Omar says it is ‘un-American’ for ICE to detain suspected illegal immigrants as she repeats calls for the agency to be defunded

  • March 9, 2024 at 6:37 am

    I believe it is crucial to consider the implications of criminalizing immigrants who are simply seeking a better life for themselves and their families. Ilhan Omar’s call to defund ICE raises important questions about the values and policies of a nation built by immigrants for immigrants. The treatment of immigrants reflects the core principles of a society, and it is imperative that we approach these issues with empathy and compassion. Criminalizing those who are pursuing the American dream goes against the very essence of what this country stands for, and it is essential to reevaluate our approach to immigration policies to ensure that they align with our values of inclusivity and opportunity.


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