As the mid-term elections draw near, a growing number of Democratic politicians are calling for ICE to be abolished.
The calls come not just from new rising Democrat stars such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the Democrat socialist who recently defeated senior Congressman Joe Crowley in New York’s primary election. Well-known politicians such as New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, New York gubernatorial hopeful Cynthia Nixon, and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand are echoing the call for ICE to be permanently shut down due to the fact that the agency puts a priority on deporting people who have entered the country illegally.
Senator Kamala Harris has said that ICE needs to be critically re-examined, and has supported having the agency start from scratch — but stopped short of calling for it to be eliminated altogether. Congressmen Earl Blumenauer and Mark Pocan have also called for the agency to be dismantled; in fact, the latter has even introduced legislation to this effect in the House of Representatives.
Most Democratic politicians have maintained that the agency should be reformed but allowed to remain in place. Their calls echo not only their own sentiments but, surprisingly, the will of the majority of Democratic voters. A recent Harvard/Harris poll found that nearly 60% of all Democratic voters actually want the agency to remain in place. Among independents, support for keeping ICE stands at an overwhelming 75%. The Democratic Party in general has lost support in some battleground districts specifically over its perceived position of allowing open borders and free migration.
Even so, the fact remains that there is a large, strident portion of the population that would like to completely eliminate ICE to prevent the deportation of foreigners who have either overstayed their visa or entered the country illegally. The mid-term elections are giving a platform to Democrats who believe that the party needs to move even further to the left in order to win voters. While many progressive candidates who believe that ICE should be abolished will lose their primary races against mainstream Democrats, the fact is that there are many voters who are willing to back candidates who hold to a point of view that was simply unheard of in times past.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s surprise win in New York has proven that a left-wing platform can be ticket to a political victory. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who is said to be considering a presidential run in 2020, is a savvy politician who clearly realizes that embracing a cause that is growing in popularity but is still not fully accepted by all members of her party will set her apart from other party candidates a few years’ down the line.
Given the fact that immigration has become an extremely controversial topic in the last few weeks, it is not surprising that progressives across the nation are rising up to denounce the main government agency that is responsible for enforcing immigration policy. The calls to abolish ICE are growing and may very well continue to grow in the near future as a growing number of Democrat politicians embrace the will of voters who want the agency to be eliminated for good. At the same time, it should be noted that the strident calls for abolishing ICE are coming mainly from politicians and political hopefuls, not from most members of the general population.
Whether this tactic to mobilize voters will be successful or not remains to be seen. It is likely to galvanize left-wing candidates in areas of the country that are already Democrat and would vote for a Democrat political candidate no matter what. However, in battleground states, the calls to get rid of a government agency that most Americans approve of to at least some degree could backfire as independent and even moderate Democrat voters steer clear of left-wing candidates and either stay home or vote for the Republican alternative.
~ Liberty Planet