Gillibrand: ‘Immigration Is Not a Security Issue’

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) said that “immigration is not a security issue” and called for the elimination of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Agency during an MSNBC town hall in Michigan on Monday.

A Michigan resident named Rick Joseph asked Gillibrand what she would do to address the immigration issue in America. Joseph also asked how America can “uphold our immigration policies so that we enshrine asylum seekers and refugees and give them the opportunity to practice their rights and seek asylum?”

“I believe that immigration has always been a strength of this country. Our country was largely founded by immigrants and largely built by immigrants. Our diversity has always been our strength,” Gillibrand said. “It’s what creates entrepreneurialism and innovation all across America for our entire history, and in our best moments, we have not of been afraid of immigrants. In our worst moments, we have.”

“We have a Statue of Liberty standing in New York Harbor with that beacon of light and hope saying, send us your tired and your hungry, send us you huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” Gillibrand added.

“She stands for something. She stands for the fact that this country has always welcomed — not always, in its best moments welcomed — immigrants, and that is not what we`re seeing from this president today,” Gillibrand said. “What he has done on the border is inhumane and intolerable. He is separating families, kids from parents, mothers from babies, and locking up people in facilities that are run by for-profit prison companies. It’s an outrage.”

“I would get rid of all of that. That should not be under ICE, it should not be under Homeland Security. Immigration is not a security issue. It is an economic and a humanitarian and a family issue,” Gillibrand said.

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Author: Fran Brennan

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