A group of House Democrats are reportedly preparing a bill that would shut down U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and assemble a bipartisan group to come up with a replacement.
The Washington Post reports that the bill, which is still undergoing revisions before it is introduced in the House, would also assess whether the agency has violated international human rights laws.
The legislation, dubbed “Abolish ICE,” comes amid growing calls on the left to abolish the agency, even as some Senate Democrats have broken with those calls.
“The ICE brand has been so damaged by the president that it can no longer accomplish its original mission,” Rep. Mark PocanMark William PocanBiden seeks to build Democratic support among unions Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by the American Petroleum Institute — A warning shot on Biden's .5T plan Overnight Defense & National Security — America's longest war ends MORE (D-Wis.), who is sponsoring the bill, told The Post. “Even ICE agents recognize that ICE doesn’t do what it was intended to.”
More than 100 state and local elected officials signed an open letter released on Tuesday that calls for an end to ICE, according to The Intercept. The officials include state senators and representatives from Arizona, Connecticut, Illinois, New Mexico, Rhode Island and Illinois.
Though immigration activists have long rallied around dismantling the agency, the idea gained new ground in recent weeks following a widespread public outcry over President TrumpDonald TrumpCapitol fencing starts coming down after 'Justice for J6' rally Netanyahu suggests Biden fell asleep in meeting with Israeli PM Aides try to keep Biden away from unscripted events or long interviews, book claims MORE’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy, which led to the separation of thousands of migrant children from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border.
The “Abolish ICE” bill would reportedly task a bipartisan group of lawmakers and representatives from immigration-focused organizations with identifying the functions of ICE “that uphold the Constitution.” They would then propose how to shift those responsibilities to other federal agencies, The Post reported.
Trump last week criticized those in the Democratic Party who joined the calls to “abolish ICE,” calling the concept “demeaning” to law enforcement.
The bill is co-sponsored by Democratic Reps. Pramila JayapalPramila JayapalManchin suggests pausing talks on .5 trillion package until 2022: report Democrats urge Biden to commute sentences of 4K people on home confinement Manchin keeps Washington guessing on what he wants MORE (Wash.) and Adriano EspaillatAdriano de Jesus Espaillat CabralFormer Bad Boy rapper turned politician meets with US lawmakers Biden's embrace of Trump-era border policy frustrates Democrats House at war over Jan. 6 inquiry, mask mandate MORE (N.Y.).
“Now that we have a clear consensus that ICE must be abolished, it’s time for a discussion about a humane enforcement system,” the creator of the “Abolish ICE” slogan Sean McElwee told The Post. “That means ending the criminalization of migration, creating a fast path to citizenship ... and ending our inhumane immigrant detention system.”