All six Senators from Arkansas, Texas, and Louisiana are joining forces to condemn calls to dismantle U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, as legislation that would abolish the agency is making it's way through the House.
Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy introduced a resolution Wednesday supporting the agency. 20 other GOP senators, including Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy and the senators from Texas and Arkansas, signed on as cosponsors.
The resolution comes amid protests across the country calling for Congress to terminate ICE.
Kennedy released a statement saying, “I am deeply troubled. Eliminating ICE shows a blatant disregard for the welfare of the American people and our nation’s immigration laws.”
Kennedy believes the agency plays an important role in fighting international terrorism and the opioid crisis.
A bill that would abolish ICE was introduced in the House on Thursday.
Three Democrats are pushing the bill which aims to shutter the agency within a year. One of them is Rep. Mark Pocan from Wisconsin.
“The President is using ICE as a mass-deportation force to rip apart the moral fabric of our nation,” said Pocan in a statement announcing the legislation.
More than 100 state and local officials from across the country have signed an open letter supporting the end of the agency.
The letter says the recent separation of families crossing the border is a “devastating and inhumane” practice. It also calls ICE a “lawless federal agency that has terrorized immigrants.”
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz feels differently. He said in a tweet that demanding ICE be abolished is disrespectful to the agents in the organization.
ICE agents are the front line when it comes to enforcing our immigration laws. They risk their lives on a daily basis to protect American citizens and immigrants from violent criminals, drug cartels, and human traffickers.— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) July 12, 2018
Calls to abolish ICE not only disregard our immigration laws and give implicit license to those who want to enter our country illegally, they also smear the heroic sacrifices of ICE agents and put people at risk, especially in border states like #Texas.— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) July 12, 2018
ICE was formed in 2003. According to the agency's website, there are more than 20,000 ICE employees in more than 400 offices across the world.
We reached out to ICE for comment and have not received a response.
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