President Donald Trump addressed recent calls from some prominent Democrats to abolish the federal immigration enforcement agency.
“They’re seriously talking about that?” he asked Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo during the July 1 interview on “Sunday Morning Futures.”
New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, both Democrats, called for the elimination of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) after incumbent Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.) was beaten in the June 26 Democratic primary by socialist challenger Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who strongly advocated abolishing ICE.
Trump welcomed Democrats to run with the idea, predicting it will cost them votes.
“I love that issue if they’re going to actually do that,” he said, adding, “I hope they keep thinking about it because they’re going to get beaten so badly.”
ICE is responsible for tracking down and capturing illegal aliens in the interior of the country who are ordered to be deported. The agency is also responsible for the detention and return of these aliens to their country of origin. Another branch of ICE, Homeland Security Investigations, has special agents investigating national security issues such as human trafficking, drug and arms trafficking, transnational gangs, and more.
“You know, ICE, these are the guys that go in and take MS-13 [gang members] and take them out because they’re much tougher than MS-13, like by a factor of 10,” Trump said. “You get rid of ICE, you’re going to have a country [in which] you’re going to be afraid to walk out of your house.”
If the Democratic Party shifts their agenda further left, Trump predicted, they’ll keep losing elections.
“That’s going to be their platform. Open borders, which equals crime. I think they’ll never win another election so I’m actually quite happy about it,” he said.
Some Democrats have adopted less extreme rhetoric, like Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who called for “replacing ICE” and California Sen. Kamala Harris, who expressed a need to “re-examine” ICE.
Americans strongly supported maintaining ICE, with 69 percent against disbanding, in last week’s Harvard-Harris poll.
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