Cardin Dodges on Whether U.S. Should Abolish ICE

July 2, 2018

Sen. Ben Cardin (D., Md.) dodged on Monday as to whether or not U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) should be abolished.

CNN host John Berman posed the question of abolishing ICE to Cardin in the wake of a number of Democrats making calls to do so and criticizing President Donald Trump for his policies on illegal immigration. Cardin, however, would not specify his view on the matter.

"Do you think ICE should be abolished?" Berman asked.

"My priority is to abolish this administration's policy on immigration that separates parents from children and that denies people coming to this country to seek asylum for domestic abuse or gang violence," Cardin said. "We got to change the policy of this administration. That's the problem; it's the Trump policy that's the problem at our border."

When Berman asked if calls to abolish ICE were helping matters, Cardin again shifted focus to criticize the Trump administration's immigration policies.

"Can I just get you on a yes or no, do you want ICE to exist?" Berman asked.

"We have to have an agency at the border;  I what that policy to reflect not what President Trump has done. I don't want [ICE agents] being ordered to separate families at the border," Cardin said. "I don't want them to be said that you can't have a process to seek asylum when you're in fear of your life."

"I want America to carry out its traditional role of accepting those that are the most vulnerable in the world, our refugee numbers," Cardin said. "That's where I want to have America change its policies and those that are called upon to implement it, they'll carry out a fair policy, not President Trump's policies."

"Alright, it doesn't seem like you're directly answering the question about whether or not you'd like to see that be ICE or someone else. to be clear, you're not answering that part of the question, correct?" Berman asked. "It could be ICE, it could be another agency in the future?"

Cardin said there would be "an agency" at the border and again criticized Trump.

The Trump administration came under fire last month for enforcing a "zero tolerance" policy of prosecuting all immigrants who illegally cross the border and temporarily separating them from their children. Trump signed an executive order June 20 halting the practice and told Congress to change the law to ensure a more permanent solution.