Democrats’ push to abolish ICE took a dagger to the heart Thursday when the Congressional Hispanic Caucus voted against endorsing the policy, saying it wouldn’t solve anything.
The CHC comprises nearly 30 Hispanic Democrats in the House and Senate, and it has been a leader on immigrant-rights, so its opposition is a devastating blow to those pushing the attack on U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
CHC Chair Michelle Lujan Grisham, New Mexico Democrat, said they want to see major changes in immigration, but renaming an agency or moving functions around won’t achieve that.
“Simply terminating ICE fails to address President Trump’s underlying cruel immigration policies and priorities that target families and children,” she said.
She said they want to see the agency’s priorities refocused away from detaining and deporting illegal immigrants — a major part of the agency’s duties — and instead aimed at policing human trafficking, online sex predators, money laundering cybercrime.
The CHC voted not to back a bill introduced this week by Rep. Mark Pocan, Wisconsin Democrat, that would abolish ICE within a year.
The bill does not, however, say what it would do with all of the agency’s duties, instead leaving that to a commission whose membership would be heavily comprised of immigrant-rights activists.
Abolishing ICE has become a major cause among very liberal lawmakers and activists, with some Democratic candidates pushing it as an election issue.
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