House Dems prepare legislation to shut down ICE, shift responsibilities

House Dems prepare legislation to shut down ICE, shift responsibilities
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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 PocanHannity decries Green New Deal as 'economically guaranteed-to-be-devastating' Ocasio-Cortez unveils Green New Deal climate resolution Trump’s AIDS turnaround greeted with skepticism by some advocates 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 John TrumpTrump nominates Jeffrey Rosen to replace Rosenstein at DOJ McCabe says ‘it’s possible’ Trump is a Russian asset McCabe: Trump ‘undermining the role of law enforcement’ 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 JayapalOvernight Health Care — Sponsored by America's 340B Hospitals — Push for cosponsors for new 'Medicare for all' bill | Court lets Dems defend ObamaCare | Flu season not as severe as last year, CDC says Democrats seek cosponsors for new 'Medicare for all' bill Overnight Health Care — Sponsored by America's 340B Hospitals — Utah tests Trump on Medicaid expansion | Dems roll out Medicare buy-in proposal | Medicare for all could get hearing next month | Doctors group faces political risks on guns MORE (Wash.) and Adriano EspaillatAdriano de Jesus Espaillat CabralHere are the lawmakers who will forfeit their salaries during the shutdown 8-year-old boy dies in CBP custody Hispanic Caucus picks Castro as its next chair 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.”