The Republican National Committee dinged socialist Democrat candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for her calls to abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement beginning earlier this summer after the agency deported a former Nazi SS guard on Tuesday from the district she seeks to represent.
Ocasio-Cortez, 28, told CNN in June that ICE should be abolished.
“We can replace (ICE), and we can replace it with a humane agency that is directed toward safe passage instead of the direction of criminalization,” she said.
“We know that children are being kept and human rights abuses are happening without any sort of transparency or accountability. That is where we are at right now,” Ocasio-Cortez argued in relation to the agency separating parents — who had crossed the border illegally and faced criminal prosecution — from their children.
President Donald Trump signed an executive order days before Ocasio-Cortez’s interview ending the practice.
In light of the administration’s decision to deport 95-year-old former SS guard Jakiw Palij to Germany, pursuant to a 2004 deportation order, RNC rapid response director Michael Ahrens asked if Ocasio-Cortez’s views on abolishing ICE have changed, the Washington Examiner reported.
“Now that ICE has literally removed a Nazi from her backyard, where does Ocasio-Cortez stand?” Ahrens wrote in an email.
He further noted that the Democratic rising star fundraised with Occupy ICE LA, “a group that referred to ICE as ‘the Gestapo’ and encourages the harassment of ICE employees.”
In a Tuesday tweet, Fox News contributor Katie Pavlich highlighted the irony of Ocasio-Cortez wanting to abolish ICE in light of Palij residing in her district.
The Democrat responded via Twitter, “#AbolishICE means not having an agency that incarcerates children and sexually assaults women with impunity. It does not mean abolish deportation.”
She added, “Also, I have no problem saying white supremacy has no place in this country. It’s the GOP that struggles to say that.”
#AbolishICE means not having an agency that incarcerates children and sexually assaults women with impunity.
It does not mean abolish deportation.
Also, I have no problem saying white supremacy has no place in this country.
It’s the GOP that struggles to say that. https://t.co/7gbXezIhu5
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) August 21, 2018
Palij immigrated to the U.S. in 1949, claiming war refugee status. He lived quietly in the country for years, as a draftsman and then as a retiree in Queens, New York, until nearly three decades ago when investigators found his name on an old Nazi roster and a fellow former guard spilled the secret that he was “living somewhere in America.”
Palij told Justice Department investigators who showed up at his door in 1993: “I would never have received my visa if I told the truth. Everyone lied.”
— ICE (@ICEgov) August 21, 2018
A judge stripped Palij’s citizenship in 2003 for “participation in acts against Jewish civilians” while he was an armed guard at the Trawniki camp in Nazi-occupied Poland and was ordered deported a year later.
According to the Justice Department, Palij served at Trawniki in 1943, the same year 6,000 prisoners in the camps and tens of thousands of other prisoners held in occupied Poland were rounded up and slaughtered.
“The United States will never be a safe haven for those who have participated in atrocities, war crimes, and human rights abuses,” said Attorney General Jeff Sessions in announcing the deportation.
“Jakiw Palij lied about his Nazi past to immigrate to this country and then fraudulently become an American citizen. He had no right to citizenship or to even be in this country.”
Palij has admitted to serving in Trawniki but denied any involvement in war crimes.
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