Dem senator: 'Abolishing ICE will accomplish nothing' unless we change Trump's policies

Dem senator: 'Abolishing ICE will accomplish nothing' unless we change Trump's policies
© Greg Nash

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) on Sunday downplayed calls from his Democratic colleagues to abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

“Abolishing ICE will accomplish nothing unless we change the Trump policies,” Blumenthal said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

A growing number of Democratic lawmakers, including potential 2020 presidential candidates Sens. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth Gillibrand2020 Democrats react to 'send her back' chants at Trump rally First responder calls senators blocking 9/11 victim funding 'a--holes' Democrats warm to idea of studying reparations MORE (N.Y.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenNew CDC overdose estimates are nothing to celebrate 2020 Democrats react to 'send her back' chants at Trump rally Democratic Houston councilwoman announces Senate bid MORE (Mass.) have come out in support of eliminating ICE and starting from scratch with a new agency.

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Blumenthal on Sunday said the Trump administration’s policies are the root cause of inhumane treatment of migrants, and must be addressed first.

“I visited the border about a week ago. I saw the brutality and inhumanity and absolute cruelty of these policies,” he said.

“There is no plan or path to reunify [migrant families],” he continued. “It is not happening and the Trump administration is embarked on a train wreck — a moral train wreck, a legal train wreck and a humanitarian train wreck.”

ICE has played a central role in the Trump administration's efforts to crack down on illegal immigration. It has faced growing backlash following the administration's "zero tolerance" policy, which led to the separation of migrant families at the border.

The agency has been the target of protests in recent weeks near agency facilities in New York, Washington, D.C., and Portland, Ore.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpAmash responds to 'Send her back' chants at Trump rally: 'This is how history's worst episodes begin' McConnell: Trump 'on to something' with attacks on Dem congresswomen Trump blasts 'corrupt' Puerto Rico's leaders amid political crisis MORE has fiercely defended the agency, claiming protesters want "anarchy" and are endangering ICE agents.

He slammed Democrats calling for the abolition of ICE on Saturday, saying he thinks the issue would hurt them in the midterms.