Amid surging grassroots outcry against ICE’s heinous abuses and as a growing number of Democratic voters want the agency to be abolished entirely, 18 House Democrats joined hands with a nearly unanimous GOP caucus on Wednesday to pass a symbolic resolution that expresses “continued support” for ICE and denounces those calling for its elimination.
Responding to the vote on Twitter, Splinter‘s Sophie Weiner declared simply, “Primary every single one of them.”
As Alex Kotch reported for The Young Turks, at least one of the Democrats who voted yes – Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) – has accepted and defended donations from the private prison industry, which is seeing a massive profit increase thanks to President Donald Trump’s inhumane anti-immigrant agenda.
Denouncing the resolution as a political stunt by the Republican majority, 133 House Democrats opted to vote “present” instead of yes or no. The measure, which Trump praised in a tweet Thursday morning, passed by an overwhelming margin of 244–35.
Here are the 18 House Democrats who voted in favor of the GOP-crafted resolution:
18 Democrats voted to support a GOP House resolution supporting ICE:
— AJ+ (@ajplus) July 18, 2018
As nearly 20 of their colleagues joined every Republican except Rep. Justin Amash (Mich.) in voting for the enthusiastically pro-ICE resolution, 34 House Democrats – some of whom want to abolish ICE – voted against the resolution.
The House GOP’s non-binding resolution comes as demonstrations against ICE’s tactics and the administration that has empowered the agency continue to spread throughout the nation.
On Wednesday, anti-ICE demonstrators braved the sweltering heat in Miramar, Florida to set up tents in the middle of a city roadway and demand that the state shut down a nearby federal detention facility, where immigrants have reportedly faced abusive treatment.
Amid this grassroots outcry, Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) – who voted present on Wednesday’s resolution – officially introduced legislation last week that would abolish the agency within a year. Pocan’s bill currently has eight Democratic co-sponsors.