A handful of congressional Democrats on Thursday introduced the first bill to abolish U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, putting on paper the details of getting rid of the agency responsible for everything from deportations to stopping counterfeiters to nabbing online child sex predators.
The bill is mostly a list of grievances against ICE and does little of the hard work of actuating revamping the agency. Instead, it creates a commission, dominated by immigrant-rights organizations, to write up a new plan.
The bill also sets a one-year deadline for the commission’s work and for finally nixing ICE.
And the bill demands the government keep the same number of employees before and after abolishment — though they are encouraged to shift toward social workers rather than enforcement personnel.
“Sadly, President Trump has so misused ICE that the agency can no longer accomplish its goals effectively,” said Rep. Mark Pocan, the Wisconsin Democrat who wrote the new bill.
Abolishing ICE has become a major political campaign issue for the left wing of the Democratic Party, though it does not have overall support among the public.
The Trump administration has shot down suggestions to nix the agency, saying its employees are carrying out laws passed by Congress, and shouldn’t be demonized.
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