Former Sex and the City actress and current New York gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon has more than a bone to pick with ICE, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. At an event on Thursday, she said it’s a terrorist organization and called for it to be abolished, reports the New York Post. She was attending an event at St. Paul and St. Andrew United Methodist Church on the Upper West Side in support of Debora Vasquez-Barrios, an undocumented immigrant from Guatemala who fears she’ll be deported. Vasquez-Barrios also happens to be a mom of two American kids.
Later, the candidate reiterated her feelings in a post to Twitter, upping the stakes by saying, “ICE is a terrorist organization, and its egomaniacal leader is Donald Trump.” She also included a petition she asked her followers to sign that calls for the abolishment of ICE. The New York Post added that she reportedly said at the church: “ICE has strayed so far away from its mission. It is supposed to be here to keep Americans safe but what it has turned into frankly is a terrorist organization of its own that is terrorizing people who are coming to this country.”
Nixon also shared the plight of Vasquez-Barrios on her official Instagram account saying, “New Yorker Debora Berenice Vasquez-Barrios, and the youngest of her two children are taking physical sanctuary in Saint Paul & Saint Andrew United Methodist Church on the Upper West Side, for fear that they will be separated and deported by ICE.” The gubernatorial candidate went on to mention how far she’s wanting to go with immigration policy for her state: “We have to stand with Debora and her children, and all the other New York families living in daily fear of being torn apart. We must make New York a real sanctuary state.”
Being a sanctuary state doesn’t guarantee that ICE can’t make any arrests, just like New York City being a sanctuary city hasn’t afforded that protection. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio stepped up to protect his city’s undocumented immigrants early on in Donald Trump’s presidency when he made his feelings clear about the border. “In New York, where some 500,000 residents are undocumented, if ICE wants to arrest somebody, it can,” reported the New York Times back in February.
“It’s hardly a sanctuary,” said Muzaffar Chishti, the director of the Migration Policy Institute’s office at New York University School of Law. “The mayor of the City of New York does not hide people under his desk. We’re fully cooperating with ICE. People get deported from New York all the time.” After President Trump took office, arrests of immigrants without criminal records more than tripled in New York, according to that New York Times article. If Cynthia Nixon wants to make people feel safe in the city as well as the entire state, it appears she has quite a battle ahead of her.