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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 GillibrandGillibrand: Military must make changes beyond sexual assault cases COVID-19 long-haulers press Congress for paid family leave Ocasio-Cortez, Gillibrand and Moulton call for more high-speed rail funding in infrastructure package MORE (N.Y.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenCentrists gain foothold in infrastructure talks; cyber attacks at center of Biden-Putin meeting Democrats have turned solidly against gas tax Overnight Health Care: Takeaways on the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision | COVID-19 cost 5.5 million years of American life | Biden administration investing billions in antiviral pills for COVID-19 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 TrumpHead of firms that pushed 'Italygate' theory falsely claimed VA mansion was her home: report Centrists gain foothold in infrastructure talks; cyber attacks at center of Biden-Putin meeting VA moving to cover gender affirmation surgery through department health care 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.