Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) has called for the complete dismantling of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency and amnesty for all illegal immigrants already residing in the country.
As part of their reflexive opposition to President Donald Trump’s tough stance against illegal immigration, Markey joins a number of elected Democrats have called for the abolition of ICE, which, as the name implies, enforces the nation’s immigration laws.
Markey vs. Kennedy
The progressive senator’s call came on Thursday amid a tightly contested primary battle over Markey’s Senate seat, Breitbart reported.
The RealClearPolitics average of polls shows Markey deadlocked in a tie with his primary challenger, Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-MA), with some polls showing a tight race while other polls show huge leads for either candidate.
Markey has the support of many of his Senate colleagues and the radical left, while Kennedy, who is only marginally less progressive in his views, has received the backing of the party establishment, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).
“We must totally dismantle ICE”
Likely in a bid to differentiate himself from his younger challenger and solidify his standing with the progressive left, Markey took to Twitter on Thursday to demand the dismantling of ICE along with a “pathway to citizenship” for the estimated 11-25 million illegal immigrants who already live in the U.S.
“We must totally dismantle ICE and establish a pathway to citizenship for all 11 million undocumented immigrants in our country,” the senator tweeted.
A glance at Kennedy’s website, specifically the section on immigration, possibly reveals why Markey felt the need to create that space between himself and the younger congressman.
In actuality, both Democrats similarly oppose Trump’s immigration policies — including a demand for a pathway to citizenship for anybody here illegally — but while Kennedy has called for dramatic reforms to the “abusive practices” of the federal government’s immigration enforcement agencies, he has stopped short of calling for the complete abolition of the ICE agency.
Not a popular position
By calling for ICE to be dismantled entirely, the senator appears to be making a calculated risk that could potentially backfire on him. Breitbart noted that polling in 2018, when the left’s fervor to abolish ICE peaked in tone and tenor, showed that it was never really all that popular of an opinion with a majority of voters.
In fact, a Harvard/Harris poll in June 2018 showed that only 31 percent of Americans, including only 41 percent of Democrats, were in favor of such. Similarly, an AP/NORC poll in August 2018 revealed that only about 24 percent of Americans wanted to disband the agency, with that figure among Democrats exclusively being only marginally higher.
That said, this is ultra-liberal Massachusetts we are talking about and times have changed since those polls were conducted, so Markey’s gamble just might prove successful.