Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D., Conn.) said on Sunday that abolishing U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, also referred to as ICE, will accomplish nothing.
CBS "Face the Nation" host Margret Brennan asked the senator if he agreed with his colleague Sen. Kristen Gillibrand (D., N.Y.) in abolishing the agency.
"I want to ask you, sir, do you agree with your colleague Senator Gillibrand that we should get rid of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, as that agency is known?" Brennan asked.
"Abolishing ICE will accomplish nothing unless we change the Trump policies," Blumenthal said.
There is a growing movement among liberals and progressives to abolish ICE. Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) and Gillibrand called for ICE to be abolished. Cynthia Nixon, who is challenging New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo in the Democratic primary, called ICE a "terrorist organization" and said it should be abolished. Other progressive candidates and activists have adopted this as part of their platform amid the controversy of the Trump administration's zero tolerance policy for illegal immigration.
"The Trump administration is embarked on a train wreck, a moral train wreck, a legal train wreck and a humanitarian train wreck because the plan now is to put the family together intent city behind fences and other barbed wire in ways that amount to imprisonment, interment just as was done with people of Japanese descent during World War II," Blumenthal continued. "That is a policy that is a disgrace to the United States of America."
ICE is under the Department of Homeland Security and has been criticized by Democrats for managing the Trump administration's zero tolerance policy. Rep. Mark Pocan (D., Wis.) introduced legislation which would abolish the agency. Other Democratic senators like Sen. Kamala Harris (D., Calif.) indicated an openness to abolishing ICE and starting from scratch but have been hesitant to fully embrace the idea.