There is a rampant controversy surrounding the United State’s immigration policies, as well as the current standing of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Service (ICE), which has been a hot-button issue with a steady increase of actions taken against illegals since Donald Trump took office.
These cries to abolish ICE have been restricted to protests and individual discussion, but hopefully not anymore, because as of Thursday, July 12, three members of the Democratic party in the House of Representatives have introduced legislation which, if passed, would effectively abolish ICE.
Bloomberg reports that Representatives Mark Pocan of Wisconsin, Pramila Jayapal of Washington, and Adriano Espaillat of New York are proposing a new measure that would create a commission to implement a “humane immigration enforcement system,” eventually leading to the “termination” of ICE.
Although gaining traction in left-leaning supporters, the legislation reportedly has zero Republican support, which is a big factor considering currently both the House of Representatives as well as the Senate are majoritively republican.
Despite this, the light at the end of the tunnel for liberals are congressional elections four months away, meaning they could use their anti-ICE platform to rally core voters to lean towards individuals representing liberal views, thus swaying control away from Republicans.
However, Republicans are already using the move as a means to counter-strike against Democrats, who they now deem “weak” in regards to being able to make tough calls surrounding immigration.
“It’s the craziest position I’ve ever seen,” Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said. “They’re tipping over themselves to move to the left.” Ryan has been a notable advocate for the actions of ICE and claims that democrats that disagree are “out of touch” with Americans.
Since President Trump has taken office, the agency has been at the forefront of the debate over the Trump administration’s new immigration policy, with emphasis put on the highly controversial aspect of the deportation process in which officials at the border separated children from parents, locking them in cages awaiting further processing.
This new piece of legislation states that ICE’s work “has radically shifted” from its purpose to prevent terrorism and is now primarily used for removal operations that “have torn apart families and communities.”
In 2002 I voted against the creation of DHS and the establishment of ICE. That was the right vote. Now, it is time to do what Americans overwhelmingly want: abolish the cruel, dysfunctional immigration system we have today and pass comprehensive immigration reform.
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) July 3, 2018
Numerous other significant political names have also called for the abolishment of ICE, New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said to Bloomberg that she also supports the abolishment of ICE, deeming the agency a “deportation force” and issuing a direct statement to those government officials involved to “build something that actually works.”
Besides Gillibrand, other distinguished members of the Democratic party, including Massachusetts Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren as well as Vermont independent Senator Bernie Sanders, have also stated their disdain for ICE, calling for its abolishment.
However, a few Democratic congressional leaders have supported a change in this capacity in other ways, with Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer has said that ICE needs “reform,” while Representative Nancy Pelosi, who is minority leader in the House, said ICE itself simply needs a “fundamental overhaul.”