New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D) doubled down on her position that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) should be abolished.

Speaking at OZY Fest in New York City, Gillibrand stated that "when" Democrats retake control of the House and Senate, they should move immediately on the issue and reconnect migrant families who have been separated at the border. 

"These are civil issues, these are families," Gillibrand said. "Look at it as the economic engine that it is, that immigration is our strength. Our diversity is what makes our country and our economy so strong."



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Gillibrand in June became the first sitting senator to call for the abolishment of the agency, which has been under harsh scrutiny amid the nationwide immigration debate.

She said in a recent CNN interview that ICE has become a "deportation force."



Speaking on "America's Newsroom" Monday, Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) said if Democrats like Gillibrand want to get rid of ICE, they would do away with what the agency does to combat drug trafficking, sex trafficking and gang violence.

"You can't both call for the abolishment of ICE and with a straight face say that my top priority is targeting human trafficking and sex trafficking and MS-13 because that's exactly what ICE is focused on," he said.

The House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a resolution last week to affirm the body's support for ICE, with 18 Democrats voting in favor of it. The bill passed 244 to 35, with 133 Democrats voting "present."


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