Democrats sponsoring the bill now say they’ll vote against it.
Three House Democrats are ticked at House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) because he plans to bring their ‘abolish ICE’ legislation to the floor for debate and vote.
They’re the ones who introduced the bill, but if Paul schedules the bill, they claim the Republicans are avoiding the issue.
The left has made abolishing ICE a rallying point and is actively pushing Congress to do something.
Democratic Reps. Mark Pocan (WI), Pramila Jayapal (WA), and Adriano Espaillat (NY) introduced a bill on Thursday to do just that. The bill states that within 30 days of passage, Congress shall establish and convene the Commission to Study and Establish a Fair and Humane System of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.” The Commission will then identify the “essential functions of ICE” and then “[D]etermine the most effective means of ensuring that all immigration enforcement functions transferred to other Federal agencies.”
Ryan criticized the bill. From CNN:
“They have really jumped the sharks on the left,” Ryan said. “This is the agency that gets gangs out of communities, that helps prevent drugs from flowing into our schools, that rescues people from human trafficking. They want to get rid of this agency?”
“It’s the craziest position I’ve ever seen,” Ryan continued. “And they are just they are tripping over themselves to move too far to the left. They are out of the mainstream of America. And that is one the reasons why I feel very good about this fall.”
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) announced later in the day that leadership intends to bring the bill to the floor. He said the Democrats want to “have a debate about it” and that’s what will happen.
The Democrats get their way so they must be happy, right?
Nope! They’re throwing a hissy fit and the three lawmakers now say they will vote NO on their own bill. From The Hill:
“We know Speaker Ryan is not serious about passing our ‘Establishing a Humane Immigration Enforcement System Act,’ so members of Congress, advocacy groups, and impacted communities will not engage in this political stunt,” the Democrats said in a joint statement.
“If Speaker Ryan puts our bill on the floor, we plan to vote no and will instead use the opportunity to force an urgently needed and long-overdue conversation on the House floor,” it continued. “We will discuss the thousands of families still separated by President Trump’s cruel zero-tolerance policy, the 800,000 young people whose lives have been thrown into turmoil by the President’s decision to end DACA, and the abuses carried out by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.”
How People Feel About Ice
Immigration is hot a hot topic heading into the midterms, one used by House Democrats as a wedge issue. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) said the abolishing ICE is a serious issue and “everyone ought to be on record about where they stand” on it.
A Politico/Morning Consult poll from two days ago shows that the majority of voters oppose abolishing ICE:
Only 1 in 4 voters in the poll, 25 percent, believe the federal government should get rid of ICE. The majority, 54 percent, think the government should keep ICE. Twenty-one percent of voters are undecided.
But a plurality of Democratic voters do support abolishing ICE, the poll shows. Among Democrats, 43 percent say the government should get rid of ICE, while only 34 percent say it should keep ICE. Majorities of Republicans (79 percent) and independents (54 percent) want the government to keep ICE.
Asked whether they would be more or less likely to vote for a congressional candidate if they supported getting rid of ICE, 40 percent say it would make them less likely. Another 26 percent of voters say it would make them more likely to vote for the candidate. A third of voters said it would not make a difference either way or didn’t have an opinion.
Among Democrats, 40 percent say it would make them much more or somewhat more likely to vote for a candidate if he or she favored abolishing ICE — roughly twice as many as the 21 percent who said it would make them less likely to vote for that candidate.
Democrats in moderate areas may have a hard time reaching over party lines if they vote to eliminate ICE.
How Do Majority of Democrats in Congress Feel?
Not only that, but it seems unlikely that House Democrats would find many among them to support the bill. According to CNN, only four other Democrats have joined these three lawmakers in voicing their opposition to ICE.
This goes for Senate Democrats as well. From The Hill:
“No, I don’t think we should,” Sen. Bill Nelson (Fla.), a vulnerable Democrat seeking reelection, said on Monday when asked if he agreed with calls to abolish ICE.
And it’s not just Senate incumbents who are unwilling to commit to scrapping the agency.
Rep. Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), a progressive lawmaker hoping to defeat Sen. Dean Heller (R), isn’t endorsing the push to abolish ICE.
When asked about the issue on Monday, a spokeswoman for her campaign pointed to a recent CNN interview, where Rosen said ICE “does a lot of other things people don’t realize,” and Congress should instead “ask the president to stop his reckless and harmful policies right now.”
Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), who is running for Sen. Jeff Flake’s seat, didn’t respond to The Hill when it asked her about ICE. She did tell an Arizona television station “that getting rid of ICE ‘isn’t realistic and doesn’t make sense.’” Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL) isn’t in favor of eliminating ICE.
Former President Barack Obama’s Homeland Security Director Jeh Johnson even shot down the idea of ever eliminating ICE:
Meanwhile, Jeh Johnson, who served as secretary of Homeland Security under former President Obama, is warning Democrats that pivoting to abolish ICE could provide political fodder to Republicans who are eager to paint them as weak on border security.
“The reality is that abolishing ICE is not a serious policy proposal; it’s about as serious as the claim that Mexico’s ‘gonna pay for the wall,’ ” Johnson wrote July 6 in a Washington Post op-ed, adding that such rhetoric gives Trump “a useful weapon for bludgeoning Democrats politically” and “a good portion of the American public will listen to him.