With 2020 approaching, some Democrats call to "abolish ICE"

01 July, 2018, 08:59 | Author: Bert Pena
  • She told news networks about the morning's ordeal claiming she was initially locked out of the office after having been pushed to the ground by the ICE officer

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio both called for the dismantling of ICE this week amid backlash over President Donald Trump's "zero tolerance" immigration policy.

The president in a pair of tweets Saturday that abolishing ICE would "never happen", adding that its employees are "one of the smartest, toughest and most spirited law enforcement groups of men and women that I have ever seen".

In an interview with CNN's Chris Cuomo, the New York Democrat said she believes it is time to "reimagine" the controversial agency with a "very different mission".

NY gubernatorial hopeful Cynthia Nixon, who has mutually endorsed Ocasio-Cortez, has thrown her support behind ICE's abolition amid continued mass opposition to Trump's "zero tolerance" policy, as has Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, also of NY.

ROBINETTE: I don't think the timing is correct right now, think there's too many things going on, all the rhetoric that you're getting from the left on dissolving ICE. Ocasio-Cortez is a self-described "democratic-socialist", who ran on abolishing ICE.

"Even the cops don't like us anymore, because they're listening to the news also", said an agent who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Nineteen senior investigators at the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) have called for the law enforcement agency, responsible for both national security investigations and deportation of undocumented migrants, to be disbanded.

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He has been the acting deputy commissioner at Customs and Border Protection, ICE's sister immigration law enforcement agency, where he's overseen initial construction of Mr. Trump's border wall. A number of elected officials have called for the agency to be abolished.

Indeed, the would-be presidential candidates haven't yet detailed what they propose in ICE's place.

Pocan noted that ICE's duties do not include monitoring the nation's borders and deporting those who enter the country illegally.

But Hemanth Gundavaram, co-director of the Immigrant Justice Clinic at Northeastern University in Boston, said ICE has been diverted from its stated mission, used as a tool by President Donald Trump to implement his "racist and xenophobic" immigration policy. The ICE blockade subsequently grew into a tent city with "more than 80 tents, four portable toilets, six couches, a commissary and a medic's office".

Many anti-Trump activists, who are driving the Twitter hashtag #abolishICE, have celebrated the moves by Gillibrand, Harris and others.

The New York Senator floated the same solution as the 19 ICE agents did in their letter to Nielsen.

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