"Abolish ICE" Radicals Now Biting the Democratic Hand That Feeds it

Alexandria Ocasio Cortez celebrated Tuesday after beating longtime Bronx Rep. Joseph Crowley in a primary election seen as a challenge to the Democratic Party leadership

In San Francisco, a small group of about a dozen people were stationed outside the local ICE offices in the downtown on Thursday, amid about two dozen tents and signs reading "F**k ICE" and "Defend the criminalized".

A growing number of Democrats are calling for abolishing the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency, but even among voters in their own party, there's not much support for the idea.

The effort gained a burst of currency when one of its proponents, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, won a stunning victory over House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joseph Crowley in last week's New York Democratic primary.

Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., all floated as possible 2020 presidential candidates, have backed the call to abolish the agency.

The new slogan, though, raises more political questions than it answers.

That the Democratic Party is going down this path - and it is nearly becoming a litmus test now - tells you a lot about who the Democratic Party thinks is its base these days. It's short enough to fit on a bumper sticker - as does "Build the Wall", or "Abolish the IRS". ICE, for example, was not separating immigrant families who were illegally entering the United States from Mexico, producing the heart-wrenching recordings of children begging for their parents.

"While eliminating ICE would be an important step, it alone is not enough to halt Donald Trump's deportation machine", she said in a statement. Sixty-four percent (83 percent of Republicans, 47 percent of Democrats, and 66 percent of independents) said they should be sent home. And ICE goes in there, and sometimes they have to go in swinging.

"If you abolish ICE, then anybody who wants to come to the country, would just come in without any consequences", said John Anderson, who is in his mid-70s.

Trump administration says China Mobile should not access USA market
No such luck for those in America, where the company first applied for a Federal Communications Commission licence in 2011. An investor checks stock information on a mobile phone at a brokerage house in Shanghai, China June 20, 2018.

Trump also linked his defense of ICE to his frequent brandishing of the threat posed by MS-13 gangs - and returned to using charged language comparing them to an infestation of insects. They are tougher and smarter than these rough criminal elelments that bad immigration laws allow into our country, ' Trump tweeted, misspelling 'elements'.

The activists pushing for ICE abolition, meanwhile, said they aren't anxious about potential blowback or any difficulties for Democrats facing more conservative voters, including those potentially swayed by Trump's repeated charges that Democrats favor "open borders".

Seizing the moment, many top Democrats have joined the movement to call for an end to ICE.

However, the immigration issue is a tricky one in this area and cuts several different ways politically.

Calls have grown in recent weeks for the abolition of ICE over Trump's "zero-tolerance" immigration policy which has resulted in thousands of children being separated from their parents across the southern border.

The vast majority - 88 percent - opposed separating illegal immigrant families while they are in the USA, and they blamed the Trump administration for the policy.

The poll found that 60 percent thought the separation of families was a violation of human rights, and 83 percent said the administration has a responsibility to reunite families. A majority of voters have consistently supported giving DREAMers a path to citizenship.

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