By: Jennie Taer, Daily Caller News Foundation
A top Biden administration U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) official previously advocated to “abolish” Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and worked with an anti-ICE group, according to her previous work and statements reviewed by the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Avideh Moussavian began her tenure at USCIS in March 2022 and was later appointed to serve as the agency’s chief of the Office of Policy and Strategy in March 2023. Before her work for the Biden administration, Moussavian tweeted in 2018 the hashtag “abolishICE,” accusing the agency of “misleading the public and making our workplaces less safe.” She has also advocated to “defund” ICE and CBP, according to a 2019 tweet.
Moussavian also worked between 2013 and 2022 for the National Immigration Law Center (NILC), a group that has advocated for defunding ICE and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and ending immigration detention.
In 2020, Moussavian co-authored a report on legal representation of immigrants facing deportation that advocated for ending immigration detention “altogether.”
“Ultimately, it is best to coordinate the fights to abolish immigration detention and to guarantee universal representation at the local, state, and national levels. The collective struggle for immigrants’ rights should strive to honor and achieve the visions of both movements, resulting in the right to counsel for immigrants facing deportation and the end of detention altogether. Achieving these outcomes can help shape an immigration system that is grounded in values of fairness and human dignity. The shared goal is to end an unjust mass enforcement and incarceration system,” the report stated.
Also during her time at NILC, Moussavian led a presentation in which she advocated for the federal government to “release people from immigration detention to prevent the spread of COVID-19” and to provide health care to illegal immigrants amid the pandemic.
NILC itself has urged the Biden administration to end immigration detention, provide a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants, defund ICE and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and give driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants.
Moussavian is credited with helping implement the Biden administration’s humanitarian parole programs to admit migrants from Ukraine, Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela, her USCIS bio states.
Rob Law, former USCIS policy chief under the Trump administration, told the DCNF he believes the Biden administration is “filled” with officials who want to prioritize illegal immigrants.
“I think it’s apparent from the top on down that this is an administration filled with appointees that do not believe in the rule of law, and they don’t really care about the American people,” Law, who is currently the director of America First Policy Institute’s Center for Homeland Security & Immigration, said.
Neither USCIS nor Moussavian responded to requests for comment.
Ireland Walker and Jack Applewhite contributed to this report.