Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) said Sunday that the “first thing” Democrats should do if they flip the House and Senate is to “get rid of” Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
“So when we flip the House and flip the Senate, I think the first thing we should do is deal with the children who have been separated from their families at the border. I think we should get rid of ICE,” Sen. Gillibrand said at New York City's OZY Fest 2018.
Gillibrand proposed that “we should separate out two missions, the anti-terrorism mission, the national security mission, and then on the other side make sure you’re doing, looking at immigration as a humanitarian issue.”
“These are civil issues, these are families,” she emphasized, “look at it as the economic engine that it is, that immigration is our strength, our diversity is what makes our country and our economy so strong.”
Sens. Gillibrand, Kamala Harris (D-NY), and Liz Warren (D-MA) have all recently called for abolishing ICE. The subject emerged following Democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's stunning primary victory over Democratic Caucus Chair Joe Crowley (D-NY). Ocasio-Cortez is calling to abolish ICE as part of her campaign platform.
Gillibrand said that another thing Democrats should address immediately if they flipped the Senate and House was gun reform.
“I think we should pass the gun reform issues within the first month — all of them,” she said. “Universal background checks, anti-trafficking, making sure people can’t buy bump stocks, large magazine clips, all that work.”
She went on to say that Obamacare had been too much of a compromise with Republicans and Democrats should’ve attempted to pass Medicare for all.
“I don’t know why we didn’t start with Medicare for all,” she said. “It was such a mistake to build Obamacare on a very moderate, very almost conservative model of placing it on top of the for-profit insurance industry.”