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 GillibrandOvernight Defense: Two US service members killed in Afghanistan | Trump calls on other nations to take up fight against ISIS | Pentagon scraps billion-dollar missile defense program Sanders targets gig economy as part of new labor plan Senate Democrats push for arms control language in defense policy bill MORE (N.Y.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenKrystal Ball: Elites have chosen Warren as The One; Lauren Claffey: Is AOC wrong about the Electoral College? Poll shows Biden, Warren tied with Trump in Arizona McConnell rejects Democrats' 'radical movement' to abolish filibuster 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 TrumpSarah Huckabee Sanders becomes Fox News contributor The US-Iranian scuffle over a ship is a sideshow to events in the Gulf South Korea: US, North Korea to resume nuclear talks 'soon' 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.