Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wisconsin) wants to abolish U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) after seeing firsthand the conditions immigrants faced on the U.S./Mexico border.

Pocan announced his intent to introduce a bill that would abolish ICE on his website Monday afternoon, blaming President Trump “and his team of white nationalists” for ICE’s aggressive rounding up and detaining of immigrants across the country.

“During my trip to the southern border, it was clear that ICE, and its actions of hunting down and tearing apart families, has wreaked havoc on far too many people. From conducting raids at garden centers and meatpacking plants, to breaking up families at churches and schools, ICE is tearing apart families and ripping at the moral fabric of our nation,” Rep. Pocan said in a public statement.

“The heartless actions of this abused agency do not represent the values of our nation and the U.S. must develop a more humane immigration system, one that treats every person with dignity and respect,” he added.

Democrats running for high-profile offices are slowly warming up to the idea of responding to the call to abolish ICE. Last week, New York gubernatorial challenger Cynthia Nixon called ICE a “terrorist organization” and supported calls to abolish it. Three House Democrats — Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-Oregon), Pramila Jayapal (D-Washington state) and Jim McGovern (D-Massachusetts) — have also called for ICE to be abolished.

“I voted against the formation of ICE in 2002 and have been concerned with the actions of the agency for quite some time,” wrote Blumenauer and McGovern in a recent Medium post. “There is no turning back when agents of the federal government and our ‘commander-in-chief’ lose respect for humanity and treat people like animals.”

Writer Sean McElwee is keeping a running tab on both incumbents and candidates calling for ICE to be abolished. However, most notably, no Senate Democrats have yet joined the call to abolish ICE — not even progressive standard-bearer Bernie Sanders.


Logan Espinoza is a freelance contributor specializing in economic issues. He lives in Phoenix, Arizona with his wife and daughter. Contact him at logan DOT espinoza AT yahoo DOT com.

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