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Another Dem lawmaker calls to abolish ICE

Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-N.Y.) on Friday joined the chorus of Democratic lawmakers calling for the abolishment of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

"ICE is being used to terrorize immigrant communities and carry out President TrumpDonald John TrumpKey takeaways from the Arizona Senate debate Major Hollywood talent firm considering rejecting Saudi investment money: report Mattis says he thought 'nothing at all' about Trump saying he may leave administration MORE’s immoral ‘zero-tolerance’ policy," Velazquez said in a statement. "Moreover the agency’s almost myopic focus on harassing and targeting immigrants distracts from priorities most Americans actually share — like cracking down on transitional criminals and sex traffickers. At this point, modest reforms at the margins of the agency are insufficient. The time has come to abolish ICE." 

Her statement comes a day after Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandAffordable housing set for spotlight of next presidential campaign Overnight Defense — Presented by The Embassy of the United Arab Emirates — Senators seek US intel on journalist's disappearance | Army discharged over 500 immigrant recruits in one year | Watchdog knocks admiral over handling of sexual harassment case Pentagon watchdog knocks top admiral for handling of sexual harassment case MORE (D-N.Y.) became the first sitting senator to call for the agency's elimination.

Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) introduced legislation this week that would get rid of the federal agency. Democratic Reps. Earl Blumenauer (Ore.), Pramila Jayapal (Wash.), Jim McGovern (Mass.), Raúl Grijalva (Ariz.) and Michael Capuano (Mass.) have all indicated they would support measures to abolish the organization.

Their criticism of the agency is the latest scrutiny surrounding President Trump's immigration policies. Last week, the president signed an executive order to halt the administration's practice of separating families at the souther border, but it's still unclear how thousands of family members will be reunited.

On Friday, Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) criticized Congress for taking a weeklong recess without first addressing the border crisis.