(CNN)The “Abolish ICE” chorus overtaking the immigration debate has Democrats and liberals scrambling to respond to a base of supporters angered by the country’s immigration service while at the same time trying to project that they support a secure border.
Simply nixing US Immigration and Customs Enforcement seems like an unlikely proposition in the current political environment, when the issue of immigration motivates conservative voters like no other.
“I don’t think ICE today is working as intended,” New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a potential 2020 candidate for Democrats said Thursday night on CNN. “I believe that it has become a deportation force, and I think you should separate the criminal justice from the immigration issues.”
There are lots of Democrats that agree that ICE is bad, but not a lot that agree on exactly how they’d replace it.
Calls to re-imagine and shrink the US government usually sound from the other side of the political aisle, and there have been a lot of them in recent years.
Rick Perry wanted to trim three departments from the federal government — so many that he once famously forgot the names of all the departments he’d end.
“It’s three agencies of government when I get there that are gone,” he said during a 2012 Republican presidential primary debate. “commerce, education and the um, what’s the third one there? Let’s see ……