WASHINGTON — The House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a non-binding resolution that expresses support for the officers and other personnel of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
The lower chamber approved the measure in a 224-35 vote.
Thirty-four Democrats voted no, as did one Republican. One-hundred-and-thirty-three Democrats voted “present.”
The Trump administration’s zero-tolerance immigration policies, which include the separation of undocumented families at the southern border, has provoked nationwide protest and outrage among progressive advocacy groups.
Several high profile Democrats, such as Sens. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), have said they favor eliminating ICE and transferring its authority to other agencies. Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) introduced legislation last week that would do that.
Republicans oppose eliminating ICE. They say doing away with the agency would hinder the government’s ability to combat drug smuggling, human trafficking and terrorism.
Some pundits have said the vote on the non-binding resolution was a response to Pocan’s bill as well as an attempt to force Democrats to go on record opposing ICE and its estimated 20,000 employees just months before the mid-term elections.
The Senate is expected to consider a similar measure later today.
ICE was established in 2003 and placed under the jurisdiction of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). ICE is charged with promoting “homeland security and public safety through the criminal and civil enforcement of federal laws governing border control, customs, trade and immigration,” according to the agency’s website.