Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) jumped on the “Abolish ICE” bandwagon in June, but is now saying her words were taken out of context and that she really didn’t want to abolish the agency, just rename it and change what it does.
In an interview with the Post-Star editorial board on Monday, Gillibrand insisted that the media only focused on her calls to “get rid of” the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency and not her statements about replacing it with something else.
As CNN reported in June, Gillibrand suggested separating the agency and renaming it.
"I don't think ICE today is working as intended. ... I believe that it has become a deportation force, and I think you should separate the criminal justice from the immigration issues," Gillibrand said on "Cuomo PrimeTime." She followed that up by saying: “I think you should reimagine ICE under a new agency with a very different mission and take those two missions out.”
Gillibrand reiterated these comments at Ozy Fest, when she said that after Democrats retake Congress, they should “get rid of ICE – we should separate out the two missions and do the anti-terrorism mission and the national security mission and then on the other side make sure you’re doing, um, looking at immigration as a humanitarian issue.”
In her interview with the Post-Star, Gillibrand said she took the position of “reimagining” ICE after 19 agents sent her a letter.
“Local law enforcement will not work with them. Local elected officials aren’t working with them,” Gillibrand told the paper.
She also said we should give ICE “a new name and a new directive.”