The DHS was founded following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Less than two weeks after the attack, then-President George W. Bush started an Office of Homeland Security within the White House. That office became an official department of the U.S. government following the Homeland Security Act in November 2002, with its official start in March 2003.
Today, the DHS is responsible for many areas of security within the United States, including counterterrorism efforts, protecting U.S. cybersecurity, securing the border, and training states to prepare against attacks.
As the agency settled into its role within the U.S. government, it became the home for many agencies, including Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
These two agencies have been the center of the public debate on immigration, as migrants continue to pour over the U.S. border from Central America. Ocasio-Cortez has been one of the loudest critics of ICE and CBP, especially following her recent visit to an overcrowded detention facility at the southern border.
As IJR previously reported, Ocasio-Cortez was said to have shouted at agents during her visit and accused the agency of maintaining unacceptable conditions for the migrants.
This feud between the agencies and the congresswoman became even more hostile after a Facebook page of border patrol agents was found to have many sexists and threatening remarks about Ocasio-Cortez.
During an interview with The New Yorker Radio, Ocasio-Cortez told host David Remnick that she believes Congress should “get rid” of the whole Department of Homeland Security, including ICE and CBP.
Listen to Ocasio-Cortez’s remarks:
Ocasio-Cortez tells The New Yorker Radio that she wants to eliminate the entire Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
Question: “Would you get rid of Homeland Security too?”
Ocasio-Cortez responds: “I think so”
DHS was created to protect America in response to 9/11 pic.twitter.com/A8i05visFi
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) July 10, 2019
Ocasio-Cortez: ICE is not under [the Department of Justice], it’s under the Department of Homeland Security and so…
Remnick: Would you get rid of Homeland Security, too?
Ocasio-Cortez: I think so.
The congresswoman said she believes Congress needs to “undo” the “egregious mistakes of the Bush administration.”
She concluded by saying Congress should have “never created” DHS.
As IJR previously reported, DHS and ICE agents deported a literal Nazi from her district last year.