City Councilor Ayanna Pressley Calls For Defunding ICE

Councilor Pressley in Everett Tuesday. (Bernice Corpuz/WBZ NewsRadio 1030)

EVERETT (WBZ-AM) -- Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley is supporting an effort to defund Immigrations and Customs Enforcement. The Democrat, who is running against Congressman Michael Capuano, spoke with local activists at a round table meeting in Everett Tuesday about her immigration agenda.

Councilor Pressley criticized President Donald Trump's "zero tolerance" policy on immigration, which has separated children from their families at the border. She described the policy as "draconian and cruel." That is why she supports a bill by Wisconsin Congressman Mark Pocan to abolish ICE.

"This policy is not just racist--it's violent, and it is creating trauma, and for families and communities that are not new to trauma," Pressley said. "Because of the inhumanity, the abuses, the profiling, the targeting."

In a statement released Tuesday, she said she wants to "remove the existential threat facing immigrant communities by defunding ICE and eliminating its Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) functions." The plan, however, still lacks specifics.

"A lot of it, we're still figuring it out, because this is uncharted terrain and landscape for all of us," Pressley said. "We need to--for the parts of that office outside of enforcement relative to human trafficking and things like that, we have to decentralize that and we'll figure out where to put that and how to keep those parts of the office functioning--but, on this side of it, all we've seen is abuse, and violence, and brutality, and separation of families."

Pressley says the goal is to maintain national security while keeping families and communities together. She's due to visit South Bay House of Corrections in Boston Wednesday, a jail that has an ICE contract to detain immigrants targeted for deportation.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Bernice Corpuz reports

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