The movement to 'Abolish ICE' is heating up -- and going mainstream

Kenia Bautista and her 3-year-old son Noah

Kenia Bautista and her 3-year-old son Noah

"The president's deeply immoral actions have made it obvious: We need to rebuild our immigration system from top to bottom, starting by replacing ICE with something that reflects our morality and that works", Warren said.

But the tweet falls in line with what has been a public relations-style push by ICE and its allies in the Department of Homeland Security to downplay the imagery of alleged family separations resulting from the administration's "zero tolerance" illegal immigration policy. "And after ICE is changed as an agency, there will be enforcement of immigration laws", said Jayapal.

In a couple of weekend tweets, Trump praised ICE as "one of the smartest, toughest and most spirited law enforcement groups" and said there's "Zero chance" that the border security agency will be abolished.

On CNN Thursday, Gillibrand said ICE has "become a deportation force" and said, "you should get rid of it, start over, reimagine it and build something that actually works".

ICE, which is tasked with immigration enforcement away from US borders, has been "emboldened" to inhumanely round up illegal immigrants and deport them, critics say.

Speaking on "The Brian Lehrer Show" Friday morning, the mayor said he supported the position put forth by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez-the 28-year-old Democratic socialist who earlier this week stunned longtime congressman Joe Crowley in a primary victory.

"I hope they keep thinking about it because they're going to get beaten so badly", he said.

Ocasio-Cortez is one of many progressives who has called for ICE to be abolished.

Maria Svart, the group's national director, said the organization is ready to "apply pressure wherever possible to lift up the narrative that ICE is horrific, has no place in our communities and needs to be abolished".

Her comments follow similar sentiments expressed by Sen. The executive director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights said she would often tell people about how immigration enforcement was splitting up families and non-immigrants couldn't believe it.

"To the great and fearless men and women of ICE, do not worry or lose your spirit".

In a following tweet, he says abolition will "never happen!"

She and others are undaunted after almost 600 women wearing white and railing against the now-abandoned separation policy were arrested Thursday in Washington, D.C. With demonstrations emerging nationwide, immigrant advocacy groups say they're thrilled - and surprised - to see the issue gaining traction among those not tied to immigration.

More: ICE on ice?

Discussion over eliminating the agency has ramped up this week and, in some cases, is being linked to border issues and the separation of immigrant children from their families. Biden, however, has been critical of Trump's immigration policy as he considers a 2020 run. Support for the notion of open borders on the left is also becoming more apparent according to The Guardian, though incumbent Democratic politicians and press are quick to dismiss this scenario, as The Washington Post suggests. "Give them points for honesty".

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