A Democratic congressman plans to introduce legislation that would abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the 15-year-old federal agency with a founding mission to deport 100 percent of “removable aliens” and which has been the force behind detaining and separating immigrant families and communities across the country.
“I’m introducing legislation that would abolish ICE and crack down on the agency’s blanket directive to target and round up individuals and families,” wrote Rep. Mark Pocan in a statement, per ABC News.
Pocan, who has served Wisconsin’s second congressional district since 2013 and co-chairs both the LGBT Equality Caucus and the Congressional Progressive Caucus, was one of many Democratic lawmakers who visited ICE detention facilities in Texas last week. His desire to abolish ICE stems from what he saw firsthand, he said.
“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,” he wrote. “ICE is tearing apart families and ripping the moral fabric of our nation.”
More than 2,000 migrant children have been separated from their parents since the Trump administration began implementing its “zero-tolerance” policy last month, which charges migrant adults who cross the U.S.-Mexico border with federal crimes and prosecutes them in the criminal justice system.
“Unfortunately, president Trump and his team of white nationalists, including Stephen Miller, have so misused ICE that the agency can no longer accomplish its goals effectively,” wrote Pocan. “The heartless actions of this abused agency do not represent the values of our nation and the US must develop a more humane immigration system that treats every person with dignity and respect.”
Pocan will introduce this legislation to the House later this week, The Wisconsin State Journal reports.