What once would have been considered a far left fringe position is growing increasingly closer to mainstream status: a proposal to abolish the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency, or ICE. Democrats are readying legislation to abolish ICE, with Wisconsin Democratic Congressman Mark Pocan a driving force behind the effort. From the Washington Post:
The text of Rep. Mark Pocan’s “Abolish ICE” bill, obtained Tuesday by The Washington Post, was sent to House Democrats as they returned from the Fourth of July recess. The legislation, still being tweaked before release, is co-sponsored by Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) and Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-N.Y.), both of whom are 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.”
Wisconsin Democrats are not unified on the issue. Senator Tammy Baldwin, when asked about Pocan’s proposal, said she didn’t agree with abolishing ICE. 1st Congressional District Democratic candidate Randy Bryce has said he supports disbanding the agency. Democratic candidate for the 6th Congressional District seat to challenge Republican Glenn Grothman, Dan Kohl, at least so far, has not expressed an opinion on Pocan’s proposal.
Media Trackers reached out to Kohl’s campaign via email Thursday seeking his opinion on abolishing ICE. We received no answer. Numerous attempts to call the number listed on the Kohl campaign website ended with a recorded message saying: “please enter your remote access code.”
In a recent Washington Post opinion piece, former Secretary of Homeland Security under President Barack Obama, Jeh Johnson, called the idea “not a serious policy proposal.” A recent poll showed that only 1 in 4 Americans support abolishing ICE.
The proposal grew out of opposition to Trump administration immigration policy of separating parents and children. Support for the idea grew after Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a liberal challenger, defeated House Democratic Caucus Chair Joe Crowley in a Democratic primary for Crowley’s New York City-based seat. Ocasio-Cortez campaigned on the issue.
If Kohl’s campaign responds to our inquiries, this post will be updated.