Dem lawmaker: ICE has become a ‘rogue agency’

Rep. Pramila JayapalPramila JayapalBiden touts 'progress' during 'candid' meetings on .5T plan On The Money — Democrats rush to finish off infrastructure Biden employs flurry of meetings to unite warring factions 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 PocanOvernight Defense & National Security — Presented by AM General — Defense bill takes center stage WHIP LIST: How House Democrats say they'll vote on infrastructure bill Biden seeks to build Democratic support among unions 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 Gillibrand11 senators urge House to pass .5T package before infrastructure bill Hochul tells Facebook to 'clean up the act' on abortion misinformation after Texas law Democratic senators request probe into Amazon's treatment of pregnant employees 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 SandersBernie SandersBiden touts 'progress' during 'candid' meetings on .5T plan Manchin: Biden told moderates to pitch price tag for reconciliation bill Biden employs flurry of meetings to unite warring factions MORE (I-Vt.) and Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisHarris unveils 0M commitment to new global health fund Senate advances Biden consumer bureau pick after panel logjam House passes bill to compensate 'Havana syndrome' victims MORE (D-Calif.).

And last week, 19 ICE officials sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenEx-Trump official: 'No. 1 national security threat I've ever seen' is GOP Left-leaning group to track which companies hire former top Trump aides Rosenstein: Zero tolerance immigration policy 'never should have been proposed or implemented' 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 TrumpUkraine's president compares UN to 'a retired superhero' Collins to endorse LePage in Maine governor comeback bid Heller won't say if Biden won election 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.