Dems Intro Bill to End ICE, Panic When It Gets Traction, Move To Kill It


Democrats: Abolish ICE!

Republicans: Okay, sure. Let’s have a vote on it.

Democrats: Wait — you’re not serious, right? Never mind. J/k.

Yes, it seems that the party that was so recently looking to abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement now seems a bit more wary about even seeing a bill that would do just that brought to the floor of the House of Representatives. And it isn’t just rank-and-file members of the Democrat caucus who don’t want the bill to succeed. Three of the representatives who sponsored the bill now say that they’ll vote against it.

According to the Washington Free Beacon, Reps. Adriano Espaillat of New York, Pramila Jayapal of Washington and Mark Pocan of Wisconsin introduced The Establishing a Humane Immigration Enforcement System Act on Thursday. Now, they’re all against it.

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Why, you may ask? Well, because the Republicans decided they wanted to bring the bill to the floor.

“Democrats have been trying to make July 4th about abolishing ICE, which is a radical, extreme position that would lead to open borders and undermine America’s national security,” House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana told The Hill. Scalise led the effort to get The Establishing a Humane Immigration Enforcement System Act to the House floor.

“I think it’s the wrong approach. I think everyone ought to be on record about where they stand on that issue.”

Now, all three Democrats say they’ll vote against the bill because they said House Speaker Paul Ryan isn’t serious about it, the Free Beacon reported.

Do you think this bill should be brought to the floor?

“If Speaker Ryan puts our bill on the floor, we plan to vote no and will instead use the opportunity to force an urgently needed and long-overdue conversation on the House floor,” a statement from the three said.

So their bill is apparently bad enough that they plan to vote against the thing if it’s brought to the floor, but they’ll use the time to advocate heavily for what the bill accomplishes… a bill that’s bad enough that they refuse to vote for it.

I don’t exactly think, given available evidence, that Speaker Ryan is terribly wrong about not taking them seriously.

Putting the measure to a vote has been championed by Republicans who believe it could make Democrats vulnerable. Members who vote for it would alienate moderate voters, while if they vote against it, they would tamp down support from the left of the party.

However, that could work the other way around. Those who are to the party’s left are already in safe districts, and support for the bill could increase turnout among the party base, which would thereby increase statewide totals.

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Those who are more moderate are probably in swing seats, which means they could vote no and use that to woo moderate voters. That, according to the Washington Examiner, has some Republicans questioning whether holding the vote is a good idea.

“Right now the whole Democratic Party is tarred with this abolish ICE thing,” Rep. Tom Cole, an Oklahoma Republican, told the Washington Examiner. “Why give people a get-out-of-jail card free?”

I think it’s safe to say that if three Democrats who sponsored a bill to abolish ICE are now backing away, swiftly and publicly, from the proposal almost the second the possibility of it reaching the floor became real, this isn’t going to be a get-out-of-jail-free card. Abolishing ICE is a fundamentally unserious plan to deal with illegal immigration that no Democrat — much less some considering 2020 presidential runs — should have been embracing.

And the fact is, they were embracing it simply because they thought there was no way they’d have to take a position on it.

This bill is an embarrassment, and one that could affect more Democrats than you might think come autumn. Republicans ought to bring this to the floor to find out who on the other side of the aisle is willing to codify their own preposterous rhetoric.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture