President Trump defends ICE and policy of fighting illegal immigration

An encampment with the Occupy ICE movement grew in June 2018 in front of Portland's US Immigration and Customs Enforcement field offices

On Saturday, protesters are set to march in over 700 cities, including Washington, DC, to demonstrate against family separations and Attorney General Jeff Sessions' "zero tolerance" policy that sparked the crackdown.

Fueling its sudden ascent have been a series of recent shocks to the system.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the 28-year-old leftwinger who rose to national attention after shocking senior House Democrat Joe Crowley in a primary in NY, campaigned on a platform that included the abolition of Ice.

And Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of NY told CNN late Thursday 'you should get rid of it, start over, reimagine it and build something that actually works'.

A former spokesman for US Immigration and Customs Enforcement said it "doesn't make sense" to get rid of ICE despite public criticism of the agency, and that agents "have a rough time with this too" in the midst of backlash over the separation of undocumented families at the border. Calls for its dissolution, once rare, are spreading.

"I think we need to abolish ICE". The one people talk about the most these days is Enforcement and Removal Operations.

Thankfully, ICE agents tracked him down and took him into custody.

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On Capitol Hill, Rep. Mark Pocan of Wisconsin is now working with fellow Democratic Reps.

"ICE is broken, it's divisive and it should be abolished", he added, referring to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. "They are great!" he said on Twitter. Kamala Harris (D-CA) said, "We need to probably think about starting from scratch". "As we have indicated before, the department is disappointed and frustrated by our nation's disastrous immigration laws and supports action".

But there is dissent now in the Democratic ranks.

Vitiello is a 30-year veteran of law enforcement and was tapped to lead ICE after President Donald Trump's pick, Thomas Homan, took himself out of the running and said he'd retire this summer.

Speaking in an interview with Fox News' Maria Bartiromo that is to air Sunday, the president also said he believed calls to abolish ICE would result in Democrat losses at the polls. The letter goes on to say that other jurisdictions will work with them only if "ICE" is not included in any public documents about the work.

But a Trump tweet this morning showed how easy the issue will be to demagogue: "To the great and fearless men and women of ICE, do not worry or lose your spirit".

He also contended, inaccurately, that he "never pushed Republicans in the House" last week to vote for an immigration overhaul that would have put into law his executive order to end separating children from their parents when they are apprehended at the U.S. He cited the 28-year-old Democratic socialist's unapologetic embrace of the issue as a key factor in her Tuesday triumph. Her jacket had "I really don't care".

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