Ex-GOP communications director: Demonizing ICE is ‘unfair’ 

Former GOP communications director Tara Setmayer says the news media is trying to demonize the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency, calling the alleged attacks “unfair.”

“There is definitely an agenda in the news media to try to demonize ICE and that’d because of what’s happening with Trump and his rhetoric on the issue,” Setmayer told Hill.TV co-hosts Krystal Ball and Buck Sexton on “Rising.”

Setmayer was responding to a question over the backlash following the arrest of an undocumented immigrant who was rushing his pregnant wife to the hospital. 

The arrest once again renewed controversy over President TrumpDonald John TrumpGrassley: Dems 'withheld information' on new Kavanaugh allegation Health advocates decry funding transfer over migrant children Groups plan mass walkout in support of Kavanaugh accuser MORE’s "zero tolerance" immigration policy. But authorities later revealed that the husband taken in ICE custody, Joel Arrona-Lara, was wanted in Mexico on homicide charges.

The conservative commentator also added that illegal immigration is a significant problem, especially in California. She blamed ICE’s bad reputation on President Trump and some conservative lawmakers, saying they’ve made the issue about race. 

“People are worrying about now that it’s racial – ‘we want those brown people out of here’ – that’s an unfortunate by-product of something that’s actually very real, which is we have got to get our borders under control,” she said.

Progressive activists have long called for the government to abolish ICE. 

The issue has become more mainstream as it picked up support from Democratic lawmakers in recent months following the backlash over Trump’s now-defunct family separation policy at the U.S. southern border.

In June, Rep. Mark PocanMark William PocanBlue wave poses governing risks for Dems Trump Jr., Dem congressman spar over Ellison's association with Farrakhan Dems seek ways to block Trump support for Saudi-led coalition in Yemen MORE (D-Wis.) joined several other Democratic lawmakers and introduced a bill to abolish ICE, citing that "ICE is tearing apart families and ripping the moral fabric of our nation."

Trump ended his family separation policy following backlash from both Republican and Democratic lawmakers alike. So far, the government has reunified at least 2,089 children with their parents, but more than 560 children still remain separated from their parents at the border.

— Tess Bonn