House Republican leadership said Thursday that they will bring Democrats’ new, controversial bill to abolish U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to the floor for a vote.
The legislation, introduced by Progressive Caucus leader Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI), would “convene a commission of experts to provide a roadmap for Congress to implement a humane immigration enforcement system that upholds the dignity of all individuals, which includes terminating the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) within one year of enactment.”
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is reportedly planning to bring the bill up for a vote.
“Democrats have been trying to make July 4th about abolishing ICE which is a radical, extreme position that would lead to open borders and undermine America's national security,” House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) told The Hill. “I think it's the wrong approach. I think everyone ought to be on record about where they stand on that issue.”
The bill, dubbed the “Establishing a Humane Immigration Enforcement System Act” was introduced with Reps. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) and Adriano Espailliat (D-NY) and is cosponsored by Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Yvette Clarke (D-NY), Jim McGovern (D-MA), José E. Serrano (D-NY), Adam Smith (D-WA), and Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY).
“President Trump’s blanket directive to round up and target all undocumented immigrants underscores the unchecked power which ICE has used to terrorize our communities,” Pocan claimed in a statement. “From conducting raids at garden centers and meatpacking plants, to targeting families outside churches and schools, the President is using ICE as a mass-deportation force to rip apart the moral fabric of our nation.”
“Sadly, President Trump has so misused ICE that the agency can no longer accomplish its goals effectively,” he added. “As a result, the best path forward is this legislation, which would end ICE and transfer its critical functions to other executive agencies.”
Abolishing ICE became a larger issue among Democrats this past month after Democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's stunning primary victory over Democratic Caucus Chair Joe Crowley (D-NY). Ocasio-Cortez is calling to abolish ICE as part of her campaign platform.
A recent poll shows that the majority of voters oppose abolishing ICE.