A former top aide to Hillary Clinton and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) was the first to endorse the idea in January. “ICE operates as an unaccountable deportation force,” said Brian Fallon in a Twitter post, “Dems running in 2020 should campaign on ending the agency in its current form.”
MSNBC host Chris Hayes also went to Twitter introducing the idea, linking to a column in far-left magazine, The Nation, titled, “It’s Time to Abolish ICE.” Hayes said, “this is a growing position on the left, and I imagine 2020 Democratic presidential aspirants will have to grapple with.”
Hayes went on to ask Democratic California Sen. Kamala Harris, a potential 2020 presidential candidate, if she believes the agency should exist.
“ICE has a purpose, ICE has a role, ICE should exist,” Harris responded. “But let’s not abuse the power.”
As pressure mounts from far-left activists and writers, the abolishment of ICE is gaining momentum as a campaign issue. Writer Jack Mirkinson penned an essay for left-wing website, The Splinter, on Friday, taking Harris to task for saying that ICE serves a purpose.
Mirkinson wrote that “Any serious defender of undocumented people in this country would look at ICE and know that it is a cancer that needs to be excised from the U.S. Pretending that the most diseased levers of state power can be molded into something better is a useless fantasy. ICE must be abolished. Anything less is not good enough.”
Referring to Harris, Mirkinson continued, “It should be a political problem for her that she is not willing to take her criticisms of ICE to their logical conclusion and call for its abolition. She should be asked, over and over again, why exactly she is willing to uphold the legitimacy of such a racist, corrupt, and thuggish organization.”
But acting ICE Director Tom Homan told Fox News on Thursday that the two U.S. senators from California —Democrats Dianne Feinstein and Harris — both recently refused multiple invitations from him to meet and discuss the work being conducted by ICE.
“Nine out of every 10 aliens we arrested [in the last fiscal year] did have a criminal history,” Homan said.
Speaking of Harris and Feinstein, Homan continued, “They don’t want to know the facts. They want to keep playing this political game and put smoke and mirrors up about what ICE is actually doing.”