California’s top Democratic hopefuls are backing away from the “Abolish ICE” rallying cry that has emerged as a mantra for progressive activists.
No kidding. Democrat leaders here actually want to win some elections.
None of the Democrats running in the 10 most competitive House races in California support dissolving the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, according to a Bay Area News Group survey of the candidates over the last week.
Extremists have argued that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement or ICE — which was formed in 2003 in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks — needs to be done away with to prevent abuses of undocumented immigrants. Attention on the idea grew over the last month amid a barrage of news stories about migrant children removed from their families.
Several polls have found that most Americans oppose abolishing ICE. GOP operatives are ready to use that ammo. Last month, a SuperPAC backing congressional Republicans launched Facebook ads attacking Democratic candidates over the ICE issue. The ads, paid for by Defending Main Street PAC, declared that “liberal Democrats…are trying to abolish ICE and weaken our border security.”
So far, however, only about a dozen Democratic members of Congress have actually come out in favor of dissolving the agency. Even as potential presidential candidates, including Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., have supported the idea, the vast majority of the party’s elected officials aren’t onboard. Party leaders like House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, have kept their distance from the debate.