NEW YORK — If it seems like ICE and immigration policy in general is in the news just about every day – you’re right.
But the latest ICE protest, this time in the shadows of City Hall Friday evening didn’t stop at a call for change in US Immigration Policy.
These protesters, organized by the Democratic Socialist Party, want to abolish ICE altogether.
“So today, we’re going to be marching with the follow demands: one — complete abolition of immigrations and customs enforcement in our prison industrial complex,” one of the organizers shouted into a bullhorn.
The “Abolish ICE” movement is certainly picking up steam.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York is among a growing number of mainstream elected officials now supporting the idea of getting rid of the agency created in the aftermath of the September 11th attacks.
"I believe that it has become a deportation force, and I think you should separate the criminal justice from the immigration issues and I think you should re-imagine ice under a new agency with a very different mission and take those two missions out," Sen. Gillibrand said.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says he agrees with protesters and fellow Democratic politicians who are calling for the abolition of the federal government's chief immigration enforcement agency.
De Blasio said on WNYC radio Friday that Immigration and Customs Enforcement "has become a punitive, negative tool for division" and should be replaced with something else.
"It’s also important to remember that many of these migrants are coming from Central America," said protestor Eva Sotomayor. "They are escaping conditions that us imperialism caused. So it’s important to remember that as well."
When asked how she would replace ICE, she responded bluntly, “Nothing. Open borders.”
The Trump Administration isn’t backing down.
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently stated, “The president often says a country without borders, is not a country. I don’t know why that’s so hard for some people to understand. We’re not talking about shutting off the united states from the world.”
Protestor Peter Dichter said, “Is it a realistic goal to demand the abolishment of the entire agency? Absolutely not. Realism is not what we’re aiming for.”
When asked what he’s personally aiming for, he responded, “Personally – a shakeup of ICE. So that they have some commitment – some compassion, and we’re getting dangerously gestapo like.”