The call for activists to reform the immigration office was supported by US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, and 1
The letter, signed by a majority of special agents responsible at ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), said the deportation and detention activities of the Enforcement and Removal Operation (ERO) "the agency has made it more difficult for them to investigate threats to national security. ICE monitored by the Department of Homeland Security
"HSI investigations were considered illegal aliens, rather than transnational criminal organizations that facilitate cross-border crimes affecting our communities and national security," the letter said ,
ICE supervisors demanded separation into two agencies – similar to how FBI and DEA work separately, while both are part of the Department of Justice – with a focus on investigations and a focus on controversial deportation and detention tactics. "Many jurisdictions continue to refuse to cooperate with HSI because they have a connection to the policy of civil immigration," the agents said.
Gillibrand was the first senator to call for the abolition of the Agency in its present form in an interview on Thursday at CNN
"We believe we should protect families who need our help, and that's not what ICE does today." Gillibrand said, "And that's why I think you should get rid of it, start over, redesign it, and build something that actually works."
Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., Said on Sunday that "we'll probably have to start from scratch" in terms of immigration enforcement, changing her position from the beginning of the year in which she defended ICE's existence. Both Gillibrand and Harris are considered as potential presidential candidates for 2020. Another potential candidate, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, declined to call for the elimination of the organization on CNN's request on Sunday.
Four Democratic members of the House have spoken out against ICE, and Representative Mark Pocan of Wisconsin announced this week that he plans to introduce laws to abolish the agency. The agency's abolitionist movement garnered national attention on Tuesday night when Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez defeated Republican Joe Crowley at New York's headquarters. Ocasio-Cortez had been an outspoken opponent of the agency throughout their campaign.
"Every single indication shows us that ICE as an agency is out of control and the profound systemic issues can not be solved with a bit of legislation," Ocasio-Cortez said in a statement to Yahoo News before their victory. "I do not see how anyone who learns of the terrible moral injustices that ICE has committed would not demand its absolute and total abolition – this agency is inexplicable, a moral indignation and an embarrassment to America."
Ocasio-Cortez is a strong favorite to take her place in November, as has Deb Haaland of New Mexico, who won the Democratic primary for a sure Blue won the seat. Haaland also called for the abolition of ICE and told Yahoo News, "This is not America and that's not my way of treating our friends and neighbors."
ICE is the successor agency of the Immigration Service (INS), which was dissolved in 2003 with the passing of the Homeland Security Act. INS was largely tasked with securing the border, while ICE focused on enforcing the immigration laws in the 50 states. While President Trump and other Republicans have argued that the abolition of the ICE is a call for "open borders," enforcement at the border is the responsibility of Customs and Border Patrol.
ICE has been criticizing immigration advocates for years. But control has increased under President Trump. Last month, the authorities arrested a delivery driver who took a pizza to a Brooklyn military base and arrested a legitimate resident of Mexican descent over a decade-long criminal charge that had already been resolved. Because ICE is being arrested outside schools, law courts, and hospitals, some medical facilities are developing plans to protect their patients from agents. There were allegations of sexual assault by detainees, and last year the acting director of ICE in a town hall was confronted by a Holocaust survivor over the agency's tactics.