Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Wednesday asked voters to question why U.S. politicians and pundits only consider the cost of government programs when those programs help the public and least fortunate—and ignore price tags on policies that benefit the most wealthy and powerful.
The New York Democrat made the comments on Twitter, pointing out that members of Congress approved billions in funding for Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
“I see decisions made every day that cost the American public billions of dollars a year for bogus reasons and nobody asks how we pay for it,” said Ocasio-Cortez.
Even though her colleagues know about ICE abuses, said Ocasio-Cortez, they voted for funding the agency without a thought.
“I saw members voting YES without even a summary of the bill,” said the congresswoman. “Nobody cared then how we’d pay for it. Now ICE is setting up fake universities to trap students.”
Earlier this year, Congress rushed to approve BILLIONS more $ for ICE + CBP.
I saw members voting YES w/o even a summary of the bill. Nobody cared then how we’d pay for it.
Now ICE is setting up fake universities to trap students.
Yet we were called radical for opposing it.
Reporting Wednesday exposed how ICE used a fake university in Michigan to entrap over 250 undocumented students since January.
Reporting from The Detroit Free Press indicated that the dummy school was set up solely to lure students to the U.S. and then deport them:
The students had arrived legally in the U.S. on student visas, but since the University of Farmington was later revealed to be a creation of federal agents, they lost their immigration status after it was shut down in January. The school was located on Northwestern Highway near 13 Mile Road in Farmington Hills and staffed with undercover agents posing as university officials.
Attorneys for ICE and the Department of Justice maintain that the students should have known it was not a legitimate university because it did not have classes in a physical location.
New York Times contributor Wajahat Ali tweeted that appeals to fiscal responsibility in government programs is a losing strategy for Democrats.
“Bringing a calculator to a knife fight each time and losing,” said Ali.
Ocasio-Cortez suggested it was a question of morality.
“Look out for those in politics who like to label themselves ‘fiscally responsible,’ yet only seem to care about the price of justice—not the cost of oppression,” said the congresswoman. “Everything has a price. And an unjust society is far costlier than one that invests in and values all people.”
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Eoin Higgins is senior editor and staff writer for Common Dreams. Follow him on Twitter: @EoinHiggins.