A GOP-aligned super PAC is weaponizing the liberal calls to abolish ICE against a Democrat running against Republican Rep. Kevin Yoder in a competitive congressional race in Kansas.
The Congressional Leadership Fund is out with a new ad featuring audio of Sharice Davids embracing the push from the left wing of the party to scrap U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the federal agency responsible for deportations, catching sex predators and investigating gang violence.
“Sharice Davids is liberal on illegal immigration,” the narrator says in the spot that will run both on television and online. “So liberal, Davids wants to abolish ICE, the law enforcement agency that deports criminal illegal aliens.”
Ms. Davids and her campaign have tried to deny the charge, according to the Kansas City Star, but they’ve struggled to explain away the comments she made during a July appearance on the Millennial Politics Podcast, which is now being used in the CLF ad.
In the interview, Ms. Davids was asked how she hopes “to dismantle this white supremacist immigration system” and “you do support abolishing ICE?”
“I do, I would, I would,” she said. “Well you asked me about defunding, which I think is probably, you know, essentially the same thing, you know. But, yeah, and one of the … reasons that I think Kevin Yoder is so problematic is because he is the chairperson of the Homeland Security Committee in the House and he has done the opposite of what we are talking about here.”
Mr. Yoder chairs the homeland security spending subcommittee.
“He has the power to defund … these practices and to defund ICE and he instead decided to write a letter saying I don’t think we should separate families,” she said. “I do think removing someone who is funding rather than defunding, because … I don’t think that is the appropriate place for that function.”
The host responded, “That is wonderful to hear.”
Ms. Davids, though, tried to walk back her comment this week.
“Let me be clear, I do not support abolishing ICE,” she said in a statement to the Kansas City Star. “I do support comprehensive immigration reform to fix our broken system. What I also believe — and what I was addressing — is that the practice of ripping families apart at the border is inconsistent with our core values as Americans and an ineffective deterrent to illegal immigration.”
Ms. Davids, a former MMA fighter, could be the first lesbian Native American in Congress.
The Cook Political Report rates the race as a coin flip.
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