Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) made renewed calls on Friday for amnesty for every illegal alien living in the United States and for abolishing enforcement of immigration laws.
“We must totally dismantle ICE and establish a pathway to citizenship for all 11 million undocumented immigrants in our country,” Markey wrote on social media.
We must totally dismantle ICE and establish a pathway to citizenship for all 11 million undocumented immigrants in our country.
— Ed Markey (@EdMarkey) August 21, 2020
While Democrats have commonly advocated for citizenship for all 11–22 million illegal aliens living in the U.S., fewer have supported abolishing the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency, which performs — among several vital tasks — arrests and deportations of criminal illegal aliens.
In Markey’s region of New England, for example, ICE raids in December 2018 resulted in the capture of 50 drug dealing suspects, all residing in the country illegally and many having been previously freed from jail because of local sanctuary policies. According to one agency official, ICE seized enough fentanyl during the raids to “kill half the state” of Massachusetts, and three of those detained were wanted for murder in Brazil.
Dismantling the agency would also result in the elimination of border security; the concept aligns with the “abolish ICE” rallying cry that has been made against President Trump since 2018 when his administration began enforcing border policies already in place from the Obama administration.
Since gaining traction two years ago, “abolish ICE” has been largely unpopular, as indicated by a Harvard/Harris poll that found 60 percent of Democrats oppose it, and likewise, 78 percent of Republicans and 73 percent of swing voters oppose it.
The idea echoes the ongoing radical push since May, when George Floyd was killed in police custody, to “defund the police,” which involves funneling money from police budgets to social services, a strategy Markey also agrees with.
Markey’s statement comes amid a heated battle with Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-MA), who is vying to unseat him in the Senate primary race in less than two weeks. The two candidates are virtually tied in polls, and while Kennedy, 39, has done little to distinguish his progressive viewpoints from those of the 74-year-old incumbent, Kennedy has not outright called for dismantling ICE.
The agency was responsible for 143,000 arrests in fiscal year 2019, and 86 percent of those arrested had criminal convictions or pending charges. Additionally, a Breitbart News analysis found in 2018 that dismantling ICE a half-decade ago would have released 1.4 million criminal illegal aliens into the country’s interior over that five-year period.