Dem lawmaker: ICE has become a ‘rogue agency’

Rep. Pramila JayapalPramila JayapalOvernight Health Care: How 2020 Dems want to overhaul health care | Brooklyn parents sue over measles vaccination mandate | Measles outbreak nears record Democratic proposals to overhaul health care: A 2020 primer Dems counter portrait of discord MORE (D-Wash.) on Saturday called for a commission to investigate alternatives to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), telling The Hill that it has become a "rogue agency."

“We need to set up a commission that looks at the alternatives to ICE and really starts to understand how do we have these functions in a way that is accountable, transparent and humane,” Jayapal said in an interview.

The calls to dismantle ICE have picked up steam in recent days, with Rep. Mark PocanMark William PocanDems counter portrait of discord Divided Dems look to regroup Liberals surprised by tax vote vow to kill 'Free File' provision MORE (D-Wis.) introducing a bill in the House to abolish it.


Jayapal told The Hill she wants to see reform in the way immigration law is applied.

“The calls really are to take a rogue agency and completely get rid of it and start over — nobody's saying ‘Don't have the functions that are necessary for the enforcement of immigration laws,’ ” she said.

New York has been a bellwether of such calls, first started by immigrant rights advocacy groups but recently picked up by national figures such as Democratic House candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon (D), Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandOvernight Energy: Gillibrand offers bill to ban pesticide from school lunches | Interior secretary met tribal lawyer tied to Zinke casino dispute | Critics say EPA rule could reintroduce asbestos use Trump says he'd like to run against Buttigieg Gillibrand introduces bill to ban harmful pesticide from school lunch MORE (D-N.Y.) and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D).

Rumored 2020 contenders have also decried the agency but stopped short of calling for its abolition, including Sens. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersOvernight Health Care: DOJ charges doctors over illegal opioid prescriptions | Cummings accuses GOP of obstructing drug pricing probe | Sanders courts Republican voters with 'Medicare for All' | Dems probe funding of anti-abortion group Ex-Obama campaign manager: Sanders can't beat Trump Booker calls for sweeping voting rights reforms MORE (I-Vt.) and Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisEx-Obama campaign manager: Sanders can't beat Trump Pollster says Trump's approval rating in 2020 will be impacted by Dem nominee 20 Dems demand no more money for ICE agents, Trump wall MORE (D-Calif.).

And last week, 19 ICE officials sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenRick Perry planning to leave Trump administration: report Cummings invites Stephen Miller to testify before Oversight panel on 'troubling' immigration policies Arizona mayor declares emergency over feds dropping migrants off in community MORE calling for a dissolution of the agency and a reshuffling of its authority into two new, separate agencies.

Republicans, however, have seemingly rejected the notion that ICE needs reform. President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Dems demand Barr cancel 'inappropriate' press conference on Mueller report DOJ plans to release 'lightly redacted' version of Mueller report Thursday: WaPo Nadler accuses Barr of 'unprecedented steps' to 'spin' Mueller report MORE tweeted on Saturday there was “zero chance” of abolishing ICE.

“To the great and brave men and women of ICE, do not worry or lose your spirit,” he wrote in a tweet. “The radical left Dems want you out. Next it will be all police. Zero chance, It will never happen!”

The Hill has reached out to ICE for comment.