Politics

White House Director says ICE ‘doesn’t have to exist’ and told protestors in 2018 to ‘shut it down’

Natalie Montelongo, the Biden administration’s new deputy director for political strategy and outreach, suggested that US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) should be shut down and does not need to exist.

As of May 2021, Montelongo’s Twitter profile is private and the following Tweets from 2018 were reported via screenshots. In response to a post about an ICE office in Portland that was shut down by protestors, Montelongo wrote in June, “If you’re looking for a way to help – look up your nearest ICE office and shut-it-down.”

A previous Tweet from May condemned President Trump’s administration’s immigration policies. “This administration’s actions are not motivated by public safety concerns – they’re terrorizing immigrant communities. #ICE didn’t exist 15 years ago, it doesn’t have to exist now,” Montelongo tweeted.

At the time of her statements, protests were occurring in response to the separation of families at the Southern border. Earlier in her career, Montelongo worked as the national political director for Julian Castro during his unsuccessful bid for the presidency in 2020. After his exit from the race, Montelongo worked for Elizabeth Warren’s campaign as a senior strategist for political and constituency outreach. Prior to her campaign work, Montelongo worked for the ACLU as a national campaign strategist with a focus on immigration issues. She participated in establishing the We Have Rights campaign which serves illegal immigrants facing deportation enforced by ICE. 

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ARTICLE: ANTOINETTE AHO

POLITICS EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: THE BOSTON GLOBE

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