New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was reportedly the only House Democrat on Wednesday to vote against leadership-backing bills to end the government shutdown. She reportedly voted against reopening the government because she is opposed to allotting money for Immigration and Customs Enforcement or additional border security measures. The youngest female Congresswoman ever in the United States history, while talking to The New York Post, after the House votes said: "We were having conversations with our community after we voted for DHS [Department of Homeland Security] funding the first time. We’re hearing back a lot from our local community and they’re uncomfortable with any vote on funding for ICE.”
Ocasio-Cortez's Queens and Bronx district has a significant number of immigrant and Latino residents and her constituents are already feeling pressure from ICE deportations, according to reports.
The Congresswoman's spokesperson Corbin Trent said that while the 29-year-old had voted in favor of DHS funding in the past to reopen the government, she has now voted "a solid no for funding ICE at all" after hearing from her voters. Reports state that the first House-passed measure authorized funding to multiple agencies at current levels through February 28 and no extra money was allocated for President Trump's border wall. The bill passed 229-184. The NY Congresswoman reportedly joined with 183 Republicans in voting "no."
The bill reportedly included a $1.6 billion for border security-related measures like more immigration judges, investments in ports of entry and assistance for Central America. The partial shutdown was triggered over the president's demand for border wall funding, and its 33rd day on Wednesday. According to a report by CareerBuilder, that's longer than what most workers can get by without income, given that over three-quarters of all full-time workers are living paycheck to paycheck. Reports state that federal workers are expected to miss their second paycheck by Friday.
The shutdown was imposed last month on December 22 after Democrats refused to allow $5 billion to be put in the Congressional budget for Trump's controversial wall along the southern US-Mexico Mexico border. The Democrats, who do not appear to budge on negotiations regarding the funding, have described the wall as "costly and immoral."