In today’s hothouse environment of toxic politics, rarely do we see such an opportunity for bipartisan cooperation. Despite numerous warnings from within their own ranks, several Democratic representatives in the House are moving forward with a bill to abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The “Abolish ICE” bill is the work of Wisconsin Congressman Mark Pocan and is being co-sponsored by Pramila Jayapal of Washington and Adriano Espaillat of New York. All three are Democrats.
The details are still being “tweaked” at this point, but the Washington Post obtained an advance copy of it yesterday.
A Democratic proposal to abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement would shutter the agency, probe whether its agents had flouted international law, and create a special commission to rethink how the federal government handles asylum seekers and undocumented immigrants…
In an interview, Pocan (D-Wis.) said the legislation would allow immigration laws to be enforced but put an end to a 15-year-old agency that had diverged from its original mission.
“The ICE brand has been so damaged by the president that it can no longer accomplish its original mission,” Pocan said. “Even ICE agents recognize that ICE doesn’t do what it was intended to.”
For months, the “abolish ICE” slogan has been increasingly embraced by left-wing activists and insurgent Democratic candidates for Congress.
The details which are available demonstrate how unprepared the Democrats are in terms of taking on this project. The bill would attempt to cut the executive branch out of the law enforcement duties being handled by ICE and turn control of it over to a panel of legislators. (Have any of them looked at the Constitution recently?) ICE would be “sunset” in one year and create “a bipartisan group” to think about a replacement organization.
This working group would “identify all essential functions of ICE that uphold the Constitution.” They would like the new agency to focus on things like the “legal, health, and social-service needs of detained individuals.” No mention is made of any superfluous duties such as locating, capturing and deporting illegal aliens, criminal or otherwise.
It would appear that these Democrats failed to get the memo from their own people which warned them that this is a trap. Everyone who signs on to support such a bill will immediately be identified as not being willing to enforce our borders and remove people who are in the country illegally. That has been shown in poll after poll to be a major loser with most of the country.
With that in mind, I think Paul Ryan and Kevin McCarthy need to move quickly and get this bill through a committee and out to the floor for a vote. If the Democrats want to play with this sort of fire in the closing months before the midterm elections, let’s give them all the rope they can handle to run with it. Get every one of them on record with a vote before the bill goes down in flames. Best of luck with that guys. Your blue wave is going to turn into a major riptide at the rate you’re going.