Gillibrand: 'We should get rid of ICE' if Dems flip House and Senate

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.) said Sunday that Democrats should move to abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) if they retake the House and Senate in September. 

“So when we flip the House and flip the Senate, I think the first thing we should do is deal with the children who have been separated from their families at the border. I think we should get rid of ICE,” Gillibrand said as she spoke on a panel at the New York City festival OZY Fest. 

"We should separate out the two missions and do the anti-terrorism mission, the national security mission, and then on the other side, make sure you’re looking at immigration as a humanitarian issue," Gillibrand added. 

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Gillibrand said in late June that she didn't think the immigration agency was working as "intended."

"I believe that it has become a deportation force," Gillibrand said on CNN. "And I think you should separate out the criminal justice from the immigration issues. I think you should reimagine ICE under a new agency, with a very different mission, and take those two missions out." 

Gillibrand was one of the many Democratic lawmakers to call for the abolishment of ICE as the Trump administration faced mounting pressure over its "zero tolerance" policy that separated families at the border. In June, a group of Democratic lawmakers introduced legislation that would eliminate the agency. 

But Democratic Reps. Mark Pocan (Wis.), Pramila Jayapal (Wash.) and Adriano Espaillat (N.Y.) accused GOP leaders of attempting to exploit the legislation for political gain. 

Last week, the House approved a GOP resolution expressing support for ICE. The measure was approved in a 244-35 vote. 

Republicans are hoping to force Democratic lawmakers running in swing districts in the November midterm elections into making a difficult vote on the agency.