Despite high-profile calls to "abolish ICE" in the news these days, most voters actually oppose axing Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a new Politico/Morning Consult poll has found. Just 25 percent of Americans believe the government should eliminate the agency, which was established in 2003 as part of the Homeland Security Act, stemming from the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
The majority of Americans — 54 percent — believe the government should keep ICE. Another 21 percent of Americans are undecided. The divides tend to be partisan: A plurality of Democrats support getting rid of the agency, 43 percent to 34 percent who say it should be maintained. Seventy-nine percent of Republicans and 54 percent of independents also believe ICE should be kept around.
ICE is separate from the U.S. Border Patrol in that it is a law enforcement agency, responsible for upholding federal immigration and customs laws throughout the country. With more than 20,000 employees, the agency has come under intense criticism over its increased arrests and deportations under President Trump.
"The Democrats are making a strong push to abolish ICE, one of the smartest, toughest, and most spirited law enforcement groups of men and women that I have ever seen," Trump has tweeted in defense of the agency. Morning Consult's managing director, Tyler Sinclair, noted: "[C]ongressional candidates who embrace the 'Abolish ICE' movement could have a difficult time appealing to voters across party lines."