Dem lawmaker: ICE has become a ‘rogue agency’

Rep. Pramila JayapalPramila JayapalBlue wave poses governing risks for Dems Dem rep: Why shouldn’t Americans believe Trump is as corrupt as his friends? Sunday shows preview: Trump faces fallout after Manafort flips 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 PocanBlue wave poses governing risks for Dems Trump Jr., Dem congressman spar over Ellison's association with Farrakhan Dems seek ways to block Trump support for Saudi-led coalition in Yemen 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 GillibrandTeen girls pen open letter supporting Kavanaugh accuser: We imagine you at that party and 'see ourselves' Poll: Most Massachusetts voters don't think Warren should run for president in 2020 The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by United Against Nuclear Iran — GOP again has momentum on Kavanaugh rollercoaster 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) SandersTrump's trade war — firing all cannons or closing the portholes? The Hill's 12:30 Report — Trump rips 'ridiculous' spending bill | FBI dragged into new fight | Latest on Maryland shooting Poll: Most Massachusetts voters don't think Warren should run for president in 2020 MORE (I-Vt.) and Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisSenate Democrats increase pressure for FBI investigation of Kavanaugh Poll: Most Massachusetts voters don't think Warren should run for president in 2020 Trump, GOP regain edge in Kavanaugh battle MORE (D-Calif.).

And last week, 19 ICE officials sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenUS to prioritize attacks against foreign adversaries under new cyber strategy Paddlers sue Trump over frequent golf visits shutting down the Potomac River FEMA administrator nearly quit amid feud with DHS chief: report 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 TrumpTrump rallies in Nevada amid Supreme Court flurry: 'We're gonna get Brett' Trump: 'Good news' that Obama is campaigning again Trump boosts Heller, hammers 'Wacky Jacky' opponent in Nevada 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.