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Former acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director John Sandweg said Monday that American voters should attempt to “abolish [President Donald] Trump,” not the immigration agency he previously led.
“I understand the frustration when you see policies like we've seen at the border where you're separating kids, when you see the interior immigration enforcement policies where we're targeting the wrong people and no longer going after the criminals,” Sandweg said on MSNBC's “Morning Joe.”
“I can understand where all this frustration stems from, but frankly, it should be an 'abolish Trump' movement, not an 'abolish ICE' movement,” he continued, noting that the strictness of immigration policy is up to the president.
Lawmakers like Reps. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) and Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) have called for the government to get rid of the immigration agency following the separation of thousands of children from their parents at the southern border.
“The heartless actions of this abused agency do not represent the values of our nation and the U.S. must develop a more humane immigration system, one that treats every person with dignity and respect,” Pocan said of the organization.
In June, Trump signed an executive order aimed at keeping families together while immigration proceedings are carried out; however, it has not done much to sway those calling for ICE's elimination.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) also called for ICE to be abolished last week, making her the first senator to do so.
Trump responded to Gillibrand's support for getting rid of ICE during an interview with Fox News host Maria Bartiromo over the weekend, saying he didn't expect Democrats to win another election if they continued to try to abolish the agency.
“I hope they keep thinking about it because they're going to get beaten so badly,” he said.
“Between Maxine Waters and Nancy Pelosi and getting rid of ICE and having open borders and the biggest thing — you have open borders. All it's going to do is lead to massive, massive crime,” Trump added. “That's going to be their platform — open borders, which equals crime.”