House Dems prepare legislation to shut down ICE, shift responsibilities


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 PocanPence delivers pep rally for ICE agents amid Dem attacks There's a better response to abuse than abolishing ICE Progressives poised to shape agenda if Dems take back House 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 TrumpMcConnell to meet with Trump's Supreme Court pick Tuesday Kavanaugh offers lengthy judicial record ahead of bitter confirmation fight Hundreds protest Kavanaugh's nomination outside Supreme Court 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 JayapalProgressives poised to shape agenda if Dems take back House Ex-ICE director: It should be an 'abolish Trump' movement, not an 'abolish ICE' movement Dem generation gap widens MORE (Wash.) and Adriano EspaillatAdriano de Jesus Espaillat CabralOn The Money — Sponsored by Prudential — Trump suggests China is easing pressure on North Korea because of trade fight | Mulvaney taps top aide as No. 2 at consumer bureau | House Republican to offer bill to curtail Trump's trade powers On The Money: Canada to slap tariffs on US goods this weekend | Trump touts tax law on 6-month anniversary | Kudlow says rising deficit is falling, hopes Fed delays rate hikes The American experience is incomplete without its neighbor – The argument for Americanism 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.”

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