Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of NY said Immigration and Customs Enforcement, known as ICE, has "become a deportation force", telling CNN late Thursday "you should get rid of it, start over, reimagine it and build something that actually works".
A former spokesman for US Immigration and Customs Enforcement said it "doesn't make sense" to get rid of ICE despite public criticism of the agency, and that agents "have a rough time with this too" in the midst of backlash over the separation of undocumented families at the border.
"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. Mr. Trump signed an executive order to end those separations, but many children still remain apart from their parents.
If it seems like ICE and immigration policy in general is in the news just about every day - you're right.
Ocasio-Cortez is one of many progressives who has called for ICE to be abolished.
"Leftwing Activists are trying to block ICE officers from doing their jobs and publicly posting their. home addresses - putting these selfless public servants in harm's way", Trump wrote.
Trump, however, in repeated tweets has defended the agency, saying Saturday, "To the great and fearless men and women of ICE, do not worry or lose your spirit". The administration said on Friday it would no longer "separate families but detain families together during the pendency of immigration proceedings". "I saw the brutality and inhumanity and absolute cruelty of these policies", he said.
It's unclear in what fever dream Trump witnessed ICE's liberation of town after town from the clutches of MS-13, but ICE's competency is not in dispute: they have none.
For his part, President Trump unsurprisingly rejected any suggestion that he would entertain either notion.
"We came to the United States seeking help, and we never imagined that this could happen".
"As U.S. Customs and Border Protection Acting Deputy Commissioner, Ron has more than 30 years of experience working in law enforcement and protecting our nation", Nielsen said in a statement.
The president also took to twitter to defend the agency as several Democrats - including many prominent names who mulling a challenge to Trump in 2020 - have called for the agency to be abolished. The debate over the agency's future follows the widespread outcry in recent weeks after the Trump administration separated more than 2,000 migrant children from their parents.
And Acting ICE Director Tom Homan appeared on Fox & Friends, his favorite safe space, using the Annapolis shooting to argue that anti-ICE protesters "should be respecting law enforcement across the board", including ICE agents.