Published: Mon, July 02, 2018
Worldwide | By Angelina Lucas

Calls grow to abolish United States immigration agency

Calls grow to abolish United States immigration agency

Democrats considering a presidential run in 2020 are joining the calls to overhaul USA immigration enforcement - and some of them are even echoing activists" calls to "abolish ICE'.

"To the great and fearless men and women of ICE, do not worry or lose your spirit", Trump wrote in one tweet. Zero chance, It will never happen!'

"To the great and courageous men and women of ICE, do not worry or lose your spirit", he wrote in a second tweet.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, New York Democrat, has called ICE a "deportation force".

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the 28-year-old former bartender who suddenly rose to prominence after defeating Rep. Joe Crowley in a New York Democratic congressional primary last week, started the calls to abolish ICE. "If people are willing to show up in the streets for something, they're going to vote for it".

"Well, I hope they keep thinking about it", Trump said.

In this turbulent political context, one of the first voices to call for the abolition of ICE was that of NY gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon, who as an actress played the part of Miranda in the popular TV series "Sex and the City". His "zero tolerance policy" led officials to take more than 2,000 children from their parents as they tried to enter the country illegally, majority fleeing violence, persecution or economic collapse in their home countries.

Housed within the sprawling Department of Homeland Security, ICE is responsible for arresting and deporting the 11 million immigrants living in the country illegally. They carried signs with slogans like "We are all immigrants" as they chanted "Love, not hate, makes America great".

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Melvin Garcia, 37, a deportee from the U.S. who was separated from his daughter Daylin Garcia, 12, at the McAllen entry point, shows a letter sent by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement during an interview with Reuters in Choloma, Honduras, June 21, 2018. They're not alone. Some progressives on the Hill worry that wielding the "Abolish ICE" banner would be a political gift to Trump and his allies, and that Democrats should consider a more nuanced approach.

"Deputy Commissioner Vitiello brings to ICE the vision and leadership needed to continue the exceptional work the agency is doing to accomplish its crucial national security and public safety missions", Nielsen said. "These radical protesters want ANARCHY - but the only response they will find from our government is LAW AND ORDER!"

Trump's comments come as another senator, Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., expressed her support for replacing the agency at a Saturday rally protesting Trump's "zero tolerance" immigration policy.

He wrote in another tweet: "To the great and fearless men and women of ICE, do not worry or lose your spirit".

Whatever the details, the focus on ICE could cause problems for some potential candidates with more conservative records on immigration.

Cornell Law School immigration professor Stephen Yale-Loehr said it was "extremely unlikely" that Congress will do away with ICE.

As a result, children were separated from their families and held first in "processing centers", then in shelters.

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