Trump blasts Dem push to abolish ICE: 'Zero chance'

President TrumpDonald John TrumpSasse: Trump shouldn't dignify Putin with Helsinki summit Top LGBT group projects message onto Presidential Palace in Helsinki ahead of Trump-Putin summit Hillary Clinton to Trump ahead of Putin summit: 'Do you know which team you play for?' MORE on Saturday blasted the progressive push to abolish U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), praising the agency for its work to “liberate” towns from gang violence.

“The Democrats are making a strong push to abolish ICE, one of the smartest, toughest and most spirited law enforcement groups of men and women that I have ever seen,” he tweeted. “I have watched ICE liberate towns from the grasp of MS-13 & clean out the toughest of situations. They are great!”

"To the great and brave men and women of ICE, do not worry or lose your spirit," he wrote in a second tweet. "You are doing a fantastic job of keeping us safe by eradicating the worst criminal elements. So brave! The radical left Dems want you out. Next it will be all police. Zero chance, It will never happen!"

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Trump’s tweets come a few days after democratic socialist candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who ran on a platform calling for the elimination of ICE, beat 10-term incumbent Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.) in a primary. 

Calls to abolish the agency have grown among progressives, activists and on social media amid criticism over Trump’s immigration policies, and the movement has begun to gain traction among lawmakers.

Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandMidterms will show voters are tired of taking back seat to Wall Street McConnell: I won't be intimidated by protesters Dem senator: Kavanaugh would 'turn back the clock' on women's health care MORE (D-N.Y.) on Thursday became the first sitting senator to call for ICE to be abolished, saying it has become “a deportation force.” 

"I think you should separate out the criminal justice from the immigration issues," Gillibrand said. "I think you should reimagine ICE under a new agency, with a very different mission, and take those two missions out … you should get rid of it, start over, reimagine it and build something that actually works."

Sens. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersOn paper, Wilkie is the perfect candidate for VA secretary, but his qualifications go further Sacha Baron Cohen mulls arming toddlers with guns in inaugural episode Ocasio-Cortez to campaign with Bernie Sanders in Kansas MORE (I-Vt.) and Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisMcConnell: I won't be intimidated by protesters Booker seizes on Kavanaugh confirmation fight Seeking asylum does not make illegal entry into America legal MORE (D-Calif.) have demanded that ICE be examined, but have stopped short of calling for its abolition. In the House, Rep. Mark PocanMark William PocanEric Holder: Calls to abolish ICE are 'a gift to Republicans' Dems say they'll vote 'no' on their 'Abolish ICE' legislation House GOP to bring Dem ‘abolish ICE’ bill up for vote MORE (D-Wis.) introduced legislation to eliminate ICE, citing Trump’s handling of the agency.

ICE arrests of immigrants with no criminal convictions have increased dramatically under the Trump administration. Those calling for the agency's abolition have said that ICE is being used to "terrorize" immigrant communities through raids and targeted arrests.