House Homeland Security Chairman Says ‘No’ Bill to Abolish ICE Will Be Brought Through Committee

By Craig Millward | January 14, 2019 | 9:48am EST
House Homeland Security Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) (Screenshot)

Speaking on C-SPAN’s “Newsmakers” on Sunday, House Homeland Security Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) says he will not bring any bill to abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) through his committee.

“Will you bring an abolish ICE bill through your committee?” The Washington Times’ Stephen Dinan asked Rep. Thompson.

“No,” he replied. 

“I’ve been a supporter of ICE,” Rep. Thompson said. “They do a job just like any operation. We can review what they do. And if we need to tweak it, I’m committed to doing that. There have been some questions about ICE’s interior enforcement role. We need to look at that. As you know, we share jurisdiction of ICE with the Committee on Judiciary. So, in some instances, we’ll probably have to have joint hearings. But I don’t think there’s any issue that we won’t look at to see if we can improve it.”

Last year, several Democrats including Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), then-Congressional Candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called for abolishing ICE.

Last July, Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) Introduced a bill called the “Establishing a Humane Immigration Enforcement System Act,” which would abolish ICE. 

The bill was cosponsored by Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-N.Y), Rep. Jose Serrano (D-N.Y.), Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), Rep. James McGovern (D-Mass.), Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-N.Y.), and Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.).

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