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The Amazing Early Progress of #AbolishICE

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This Politico piece is supposed to be dismissive of #AbolishICE, but in fact, it shows just how far this movement has come in a very short time.

A new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll shows that most voters oppose eliminating Immigration and Customs Enforcement — the homeland security agency some liberal Democrats have called for abolishing.

Only 1 in 4 voters in the poll, 25 percent, believe the federal government should get rid of ICE. The majority, 54 percent, think the government should keep ICE. Twenty-one percent of voters are undecided.

OK, not so popular right now. But then:

But a plurality of Democratic voters do support abolishing ICE, the poll shows. Among Democrats, 43 percent say the government should get rid of ICE, while only 34 percent say it should keep ICE. Majorities of Republicans (79 percent) and independents (54 percent) want the government to keep ICE.

Calls to abolish ICE have been amplified over the past two weeks — since Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a liberal challenger, defeated House Democratic Caucus Chair Joe Crowley in a Democratic primary for Crowley’s New York City-based seat. Ocasio-Cortez campaigned on the issue, and has said that ICE represents “the draconian enforcement that has happened since 2003 that routinely violates our civil rights, because, frankly, it was designed with that structure in mind.”

A handful of liberal figures — including some potential 2020 presidential candidates, like Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) — have also called for eliminating or replacing ICE, as have other Democratic primary challengers, like Cynthia Nixon, who is running against New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

This movement was basically started by Sean McElwee on Twitter in the early part of the year. I and others chipped in where we could, highlighting American ethnic cleansing on Twitter and in our writing. And by July, we have 43% of Democrats supporting the abolition of an evil agency of American ethnic cleansing. That’s amazing! Despite the 24-hour news cycle, social movements aren’t built overnight. Tiger Beat on the Potomac has no way to compute this because social movements don’t fit its model. So it seems unpopular. But it’s not. It is just being introduced to voters and a full plurality of Democrats want to eliminate this evil agency. Really, we should be very proud of this and continue to move forward demanding its complete abolition and a totally different immigration system as part of the 2020 Democratic platform. Anyone who wants to win the Democratic nomination needs to embrace this. Kirsten Gillibrand, being better at her job than her competitors, understands this and has gotten ahead of them all.

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