Members of "The Squad," along with other Democrats, on Tuesday penned a letter to Congressional leaders asking them to roll back the law enforcement presence at the Capitol. Increased security, including National Guardsmen and walls around Capitol Hill, went up after the Capitol was breached on Jan. 6. Security was upped before President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration, which is set for Wednesday.
According to the group's letter, an increase in national security powers will eventually "lead to the erosion of Americans' civil liberties."
"While we are not necessarily opposed to reforms to address the law enforcement and intelligence communities' inability or unwillingness to seriously confront domestic white nationalist violence, we firmly believe that the national security and surveillance powers of the U.S. government agencies are already too broad, undefined, and unaccountable to the people," the letter stated. "To further degrade those rights and liberties in reaction to this attack would undermine our democracy at a time when we must join together to defend it with all our collective might."
"The Squad" and their fellow co-signers indicated that incidents like the Jan. 6 attacks have been used as reasoning to expand federal powers that are eventually "used for the mass violation of the human and civil rights of the American people." Specifically, they cited the the House Committee on Un-American Activities, the FBI's Counterintelligence Program, the Patriot Act, and the FBI's Assessment Authority Operation IRON FIST.
The reason the group opposes the expanded powers is because they say white people have benefited from the increase in security while minorities have suffered.
"While not necessarily intentional, increasing the reach and power of our national security apparatus now would only serve to further the oppression of Black, brown, Indigenous, people of color, and leftist groups," they claimed.
Instead of continuing with increased security, "The Squad" wants an investigation into the Capitol riots, they want a full investigation into the riots and all findings made public.
They also want the "white nationalists and QAnon groups" recognized as a national security threat and adequately address their threats.
The letter is signed by Tlaib, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Earl Blumenauer, Pramila Jayapal, Mondaire Jones, Ro Khanna, Barbara Lee and Ayanna Pressley.
I’m leading the call for national security powers to not be expanded in light of the attack on our nation’s Capitol that occurred two weeks ago, as such measures often lead to the erosion of Americans’ civil liberties. pic.twitter.com/K6IHTPQzne— Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (@RepRashida) January 19, 2021