Trump Defends Embattled Immigration Control Agency

Letter: Criminal investigations hampered by deportations, detentions

President Trump hit back Saturday at Democrats' call to abolish the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, saying it will never happen on his watch.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio became the latest government official to call for the abolition of America's immigration enforcement agency on Friday amid President Donald Trump's hardline crackdown on undocumented immigrants.

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'.

Trump's tweets come a few days after Democratic socialist candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who ran on a platform calling for the elimination of ICE, beat 10-term incumbent Rep.

U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan claims the agency's practices under Republican President Donald Trump's administration have indelibly tarnished its reputation. On Tuesday, upstart progressive candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a 28-year-old middle class Latina from the Bronx, shocked the political world by unseating longtime Democratic Rep. Joe Crowley in a NY primary.

"It's important for this administration to know that these policies that rip apart families - that treat people as less than human, like they're vermin - are not the way of God, they are not the law of love", said the Rev. Julie Hoplamazian, an Episcopal priest marching in Brooklyn, whose own grandparents fled to the US during the Armenian genocide. "I did nothing wrong", he said. His "zero tolerance policy" led officials to take more than 2,000 children from their parents as they tried to enter the country illegally, majority fleeing violence, persecution or economic collapse in their home countries.

Housed within the Department of Homeland Security, ICE is in charge of executing hundreds of federal immigration statutes.

"I don't think ICE today is working as intended", Gillibrand said Thursday night on CNN's "Cuomo PrimeTime".

Ronald D. Vitiello, who was serving as acting deputy commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, began Saturday as deputy director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Right-wing activists with the group Patriot Prayer also have a permit to march later in the day Saturday and the Portland Police Bureau said Friday they planned to have a heavy police presence.

But the tweet falls in line with what has been a public relations-style push by ICE and its allies in the Department of Homeland Security to downplay the imagery of alleged family separations resulting from the administration's "zero tolerance" illegal immigration policy. "You are doing a fantastic job of keeping us safe by eradicating the worst criminal elements". "The radical left Dems want you out". Families are still separated.

The growing anger directed at the agency prompted Trump to call out on Twitter what he described as "shameless attacks on our courageous law enforcement officers".

The analysis found that during the first full 14 months of the Trump administration, 69 percent of undocumented immigrants arrested by ICE agents had a criminal record.

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