Muslim Lawmaker Starts Hunger Strike for Abolition of ICE Agency

Sigh, if it’s not one Muslim Democrat, it’s the other.

This week, at a Detroit fundraiser for the Michigan Coalition for Human Rights, Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) said that her supporters should join her in a hunger strike that would pressure Washington to abolish the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. Tlaib said that the dismantling of the agency, which is responsible for identifying and deporting illegal immigrants, should be of central concern to progressives who want justice for every American resident.

“It’s going to take movements outside the halls of Congress,” Tlaib told the audience. “I want you all to shut them down, we can shut them down. Don’t wait for this Congress to act, shut them down. I know what they’re going to say, they’ll go, ‘What do you mean Rashida?’ Well I’ll tell you. There are some people that are using hunger strike, all these other things, going to the border, and I plan to.”

There’s no word yet on whether or not Tlaib has begun her strike or, indeed, when she plans on beginning the fast. There is also no word on whether or not her colleagues on Capitol Hill care enough about Tlaib’s nutritional needs to make this protest successful. But we’re sure she’ll get plenty of adoring media coverage for it, if she ever gets up the gumption to start.

If Tlaib is looking to drum up support for abolishing ICE within the Democratic Party, she might be getting off on the wrong foot. In her speech, she reserved plenty of criticism for her party colleagues, complaining that the leadership in Congress was too “strategic.” We take that to mean that Tlaib (much like her fellow freshmen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar) are more concerned with making a bunch of ineffective noise than actually getting things done. They would rather see their faces on the cover of Time magazine than pass legislation. Which, frankly, is probably for the best.

The other thing that makes Tlaib similar to AOC and Omar – nothing is ever their fault and they are always the victim in any given scenario. Just listen to the way Tlaib talks about how the rest of her colleagues view her on the House floor.

“Honestly, I’ve never felt more Palestinian than I feel in Congress,” she said. “Even in Palestine, when I’m visiting my grandmother, I’m American to the Palestinians. But I’m more Palestinian in the halls of Congress than I am anywhere in the country, in the world.”

Everyone play a tiny violin for Tlaib and her friends. They don’t feel welcome.

Maybe there’s a reason for that.

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