House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said that ICE is an “absolutely essential agency” during his Monday night interview on “Your World With Neil Cavuto”.
His comments came during a back-and-forth in which they were discussing the possibility of another government shutdown that could begin at the end of this week. Talks between Democrats and Republicans broke down over the weekend because Democrats demanded funding for beds to be reduced in exchange for wall funding.
“A lot of some of the moderates in both parties say we ought not be having this added debate in the middle of what was originally funding for a wall and whether it was necessary, how much it would be, how long it would be, etc.,” Cavuto began. “That maybe this is your party emboldened to some of the far left elements who have been saying out of extreme just defund homeland security altogether. You didn’t go that farther. But, how do you answer that?”
Hoyer responded, “They didn’t go that far. Some suggested eliminating ICE as an organization. I was not for that. The Speaker was not for that, clearly. We’re going to have immigrants, we’re going to have customs. We need enforcement.”
“So you think ICE has some value?” Cavuto asked.
“Of course it does. It’s like the IRS. It’s an absolutely essential agency as [the] IRS is an essential agency,” Hoyer answered.
“So when [Congresswoman Ocasio]-Cortez and others say that it isn’t doing that and should be shut down, you say that goes too far?” the host followed up.
“I think that goes too far,” the congressman added.
A number of politicians on the left have called for ICE to be abolished including Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, and Rashida Tlaib. They have also recently promoted “not another dollar” of funding for the Department of Homeland Security and ICE.