Poll: Majority of voters oppose eliminating ICE

By Daniel Uria  |  July 11, 2018 at 8:06 PM
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July 11 (UPI) -- A majority of American voters oppose eliminating the Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, according to a poll by Politico and Morning Consult.

The poll, released Wednesday, found that 54 percent of voters were in favor of maintaining ICE, 25 percent were in favor of eliminating the agency and 21 percent were undecided.

It also found that 40 percent of voters would be either somewhat less likely or much less likely to vote for a candidate for U.S. Congress who supported getting rid of ICE, as opposed to 26 percent who said such a stance would make them more likely to vote for a candidate. An additional 17 percent of people said it made no difference and 16 percent were undecided.

A plurality of Democrats questioned in the poll were in favor of eliminating ICE at 43 percent, while 79 percent of Republicans and 54 percent of Independents favored keeping the agency intact.

Voters under the age of 30 also more strongly favored getting rid of ICE at 39 percent, versus 33 percent who favored keeping it intact. A majority of all other age groups favored preserving ICE -- with those 65 and older most in favor at 68 percent.

The poll was conducted among a national sample of 1,999 registered voters from July 6-10. The results had a 2 percent margin of error.

Earlier this month, 19 senior investigators at Immigration and Customs Enforcement called for ICE to be split into two distinct agencies in a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.

The letter explained that immigration enforcement duties have interfered with the work of Homeland Security Investigations and disbanding ICE would allow HSI to work unfettered while immigration enforcement continues to be conducted through the Enforcement and Removals Operations section of ICE.

Some Democratic lawmakers, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, have called for the agency to be replaced or eliminated.

"The president's deeply immoral actions have made it obvious that we need to rebuild our immigration system from top to bottom, starting by replacing ICE with something that reflects our values," Warren wrote on Facebook.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., called for ICE to be abolished in a June Facebook post.

"ICE is meant to provide security and enforcement," she wrote. "But it has morphed into something much more by conducting raids and deporting people who've lived in and contributed to this country for many years."

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