Ocasio-Cortez Says She Wants DHS to Be Abolished

By Janita Kan
Janita Kan
Janita Kan
Janita Kan is a reporter based in New York covering the Justice Department, courts, and First Amendment.
July 10, 2019 Updated: July 10, 2019

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) said in an interview this week that she was in favor of ending the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

The freshman congresswoman made the remarks during an appearance on The New Yorker Radio Hour with David Remnick while discussing her past comments when she called for the elimination of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

“And so, I think what it means is, for example, ICE is not under DOJ It’s under the Department of Homeland Security,” Ocasio-Cortez said during the interview.

“Would you get rid of Homeland Security, too?” Remnick asked.

“I think so. I think so,” the freshman congresswoman replied. “I think we need to undo a lot of the egregious mistakes that the Bush Administration did.”

“I feel like it is a very qualified and supported position, at least in terms of evidence and in terms of being able to make the argument that we never should have created DHS in the early 2000s,” she added.

The DHS was created after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks as “a comprehensive national strategy to safeguard the country against terrorism and respond to any future attacks,” according to the department’s website.

Following her comments, former New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez told Fox News’ Outnumbered on July 10 that the idea of abolishing the department was “pure insanity,” adding that it would put the nation at risk.

“Homeland Security was created in order to keep America safe, it was created after 9/11. I just think Ocasio-Cortez is into the ‘shock and awe.’ She wants to make a statement and be ahead of everything,” Martinez told the program.

She was also criticized by other prominent figures for her comments.

“Ridiculous comments by AOC on DHSgov,” Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) wrote on Twitter. “The Dept. of Homeland Security has been invaluable to our country’s safety since it was created after the 9/11 attacks. ICE & CBP agents risk their lives to keep us safe while Dems sit in their comfy offices & attack them. It’s shameful.”

“Someone should inform AOC the Dept. of Homeland Security (formed after 9/11) is more than just border security—it operates the Coast Guard, FEMA, TSA, & many crucial programs that combat terrorism, too,” GOP Co-Chair Tommy Hicks said.

Bringing the end of DHS will also end the operation of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), United States Coast Guard (USCG), United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC), United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), United States Secret Service (USSS), Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Management Directorate, Science and Technology Directorate, Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office, the Office of Intelligence and Analysis, and the Office of Operations Coordination.

Janita Kan
Janita Kan is a reporter based in New York covering the Justice Department, courts, and First Amendment.