Only 18 Democrats Vote Yes on Resolution Supporting ICE

A wall is seen along the border between the United States and Mexico in Tijuana, Mexico
A wall is seen along the border between the United States and Mexico in Tijuana, Mexico / Getty Images
July 18, 2018

The House passed a resolution Wednesday in support of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the law enforcement agency that some Democrats now want to abolish.

The measure praised ICE's work countering the narcotics trade and combatting human trafficking, Fox News reported. It further argued that without ICE, more Americans would suffer from drug abuse.

In total, 133 Democrats voted present, 43 voted no on the resolution, and 18 voted yes.

Rep. Jerry Nadler (D., N.Y.) called it a "meaningless stunt" and said he voted present because the House had "more important things to do."

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D., Md.) echoed that sentiment, saying "This is exactly the kind of 'gotcha vote' which alienates Americans from their government ... Democrats refuse to play the Republicans' game."

Rep. Marc Pocan (D., Wisc.), who has sponsored an "Abolish ICE" bill, voted present.

Half of the Democrats in the House that hail from districts won by Donald Trump in 2016 voted in support of the resolution.

One noteworthy no vote came from Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D.), who is the Democratic nominee in the Texas Senate election this year.

He called the resolution a cynical bill "to give a blanket endorsement to the practices of ICE."

"I don’t support the abolishment of ICE, but it’s wrong to pass [legislation] that praises some of the practices that need reform. Those of us who call the border home, including ICE officers and border patrol agents who live in our communities, know we can do better than current policies," he said.

Republicans used the opportunity to tout their support for ICE agents and point out the work they do to secure the homeland.

There is no doubt that ICE is at the forefront of keeping criminals like drug and human traffickers off our streets," House GOP Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Wash.) said. "The outrageous suggestion to abolish this agency is irresponsible, and it would wreak havoc in communities across the country. Rest assured, while Democrats play politics and push for open borders, Republicans in the People’s House will continue our work to support ICE, make our communities safer, and keep America secure."