Over the past few days, the New York gubernatorial candidate has been in a back-and-forth with the Trump administration about Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). A growing number of progressives are calling to abolish the agency, founded in 2003, arguing that it has strayed from its mission of keeping the country safe and become, as Nixon puts it, a "terrorist organization." In light of the countless stories of cruel arrests and detainments, and the outcry over the abuses of Trump's family-separation policy, their cause is picking up steam.
The sparring started when Vice President Mike Pence attacked her stance while visiting an ICE headquarters in Washington, D.C., last week. According to CNN, he said, "a leading candidate for governor of New York appallingly called this agency a 'terrorist organization.'" Nixon responded by saying she'll "wear any criticism from Mike Pence as a badge of honor."
Now, the White House has gifted Nixon yet another media moment by slamming her over her comments: "It’s deeply disturbing that Cynthia Nixon has no clue of what ICE does to protect Americans and New Yorkers every day from dangerous criminals, terrorists, child smugglers, and human traffickers," Hogan Gidley, White House deputy press secretary, said in a statement on Monday. "The 9/11 terrorists responsible for the slaughter of 3,000 innocent people were foreign nationals on visas who committed immigration fraud and who should have been deported. ICE was created in the aftermath of that tragedy to help ensure that no similar atrocity would ever strike our nation again."
Nixon fired back, and posted an emotional video on Twitter in which she directly addresses President Trump. "I do remember 9/11, Donald," she said. "When I and many other New Yorkers were running to pick up our kids and make sure our loved ones were safe, you called up Fox News and talked about how you now owned the tallest building in Manhattan. The lesson of 9/11 was not that we need to tear families apart. It was that our country is strongest when we stand together." [Ed. note: Yes, he did do that.]
Ruffling the administration's feathers is swiftly gaining Nixon national attention as she continues to rally progressives on issues like labor, LGBTQ rights, and mass incarceration. While she's cutting into Gov. Andrew Cuomo's lead, it remains to be seen whether her strategy will work in November. One thing we do know is that she's part of a progressive wave that's not about to slow down. That, and — at least if the amount of comments on this Instagram post is any indication — giving out bongs signed by the stars of Broad City is a pretty clever campaign tactic.
While I ran to pick up my child & made sure loved ones were safe on 9/11, Donald Trump went on FOX to talk about how he now owned the tallest building in NYC. The lesson of 9/11 wasn’t that we need to tear families apart. It’s that our country is strongest when we stand together. pic.twitter.com/pK3NeBU01y— Cynthia Nixon (@CynthiaNixon) July 9, 2018