As the cries to abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) grow louder, Vice President Mike Pence and the White House have doubled down on their own efforts to protect the government agency.
In remarks at ICE’s headquarters in Washington Friday, Pence lauded the agency and called for "out-of-control" Democrats to stop their attacks. In recent weeks, several left-leaning groups and politicians, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, have called on the government to abolish the agency responsible for detaining and deporting immigrants already in the country.
But Pence has now started a movement of his own, with the hashtag #IStandwithICE, and promised that the Trump administration would never forsake the agency.
During his speech at headquarters, Pence called for the attacks on ICE to stop and thanked the men and women working there. He said that the “center” of the Democratic Party had moved too far left and called out Warren, de Blasio, and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand for calling to eliminate the agency.
“The radical Left has been speaking out against ICE lately,” Pence said. “Just when you thought the Democrats couldn’t move farther to the left, leading members of the Democratic Party, including candidates for higher office, are openly advocating the abolition of ICE.
“These spurious attacks on ICE by our political leaders must stop,” he added.
During his speech, Pence’s Twitter account also posted a tweetstorm defending the agency and explaining its crucial role in defending the country’s borders, a popular GOP talking point. In addition to regulating immigration, ICE does contain counterterrorism units.
“Abolishing ICE would mean more illegal drugs in our schools and on our streets… Abolishing ICE would mean more human trafficking… And abolishing ICE would give terrorists a new chance to exploit immigration loopholes, which is exactly what happened before 9/11,” the vice president wrote.
Pence ended the rant by vowing — in all caps — that the White House, under Trump, would never abolish ICE.
Cover image: Vice President Mike Pence speaks at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), at ICE headquarters, Friday, July 6, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)