Duckworth Breaks From Progressives, Opposes Abolishing ICE

• July 1, 2018 11:46 am


Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D., Ill.) told CNN host Jake Tapper on Sunday that she would not support abolishing U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Tapper asked Duckworth if she agreed with the growing list of Democrats who support abolishing the law enforcement agency.

"Democratic Senators Gillibrand, Warren, and Harris have joined the rallying cry to abolish and replace ICE," Tapper said. "Do you agree?"

"Well, I just think that if you abolish ICE as it is, as an executive agency it reflects the policies of the White House, of the president," Duckworth said. "You abolish ICE now, you still have the same president with the same failed policies. Whatever you replace it with is just going to still reflect what this president wants to do."

Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) and Kristen Gillibrand (D., N.Y.) 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. 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.

"So, no you don't support abolishing ICE?" Tapper said.

"I think there's a lot of other things we can do before we get to that point, first of which, which is, you know, you've got someone in the White House who has these policies which are horrendous which he still hasn't fixed and families are still separated, children are still in cages, nursing babies are still separated from their moms," Duckworth said.

Fellow Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal (Conn.) said abolishing ICE would "accomplish nothing."