Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandICE chief to protesters: We're not the ones separating families Another Dem lawmaker calls to abolish ICE Lawmakers take immigration battle to ballot box MORE (D-N.Y.) on Thursday became the first senator to call for the scrapping of ICE, on the grounds that it has become "a deportation force".
Both Democrats' comments came after Tuesday's primary win by progressive, Democratic Socialist candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez over Democratic incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley for New York's 14th congressional district.
"I'm here because I'm disgusted, outraged, and frightened by our government", Lisa Zieger, a 66-year-old Newark resident, said.
"Because of (ICE's) reputation, no one wants to talk to them because they are afraid they are going to be deported", he said. "I have literally never seen Americans show up for immigrants like this", said Jess Morales Rocketto, political director at the National Domestic Workers Alliance, which represents nannies, housekeepers and caregivers.
"No matter what they do, we are here to stay", Sinclair said.
The officers suggested that ICE be dissolved and its work divided among two new separate agencies, one focused on HSI and one focused on Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO)-the unit which has enforced President Donald Trump's hardline immigration policy. Kamala Harris (D-CA) said, "We need to probably think about starting from scratch".
ICE has been in the center of the backlash over Trump's strict policy, which had the agency arresting undocumented immigrants entering the country without using legal entry points.
Singer John Legend serenaded the crowd and Democratic politicians who have clashed with Trump had strong words for the president, including U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters who called for his impeachment.
When asked how she would replace ICE, she responded bluntly, "Nothing".
On Saturday morning, President Donald Trump took to Twitter to release his usual weekend morning tweetstorm - this time, claiming that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is responsible for liberating towns from MS-13 and attacking the few Democrats interested in the agency's abolishment.
Homeland Security Investigations, which includes more than 6,000 agents, describes itself as an investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security and a vital asset in "combating criminal organizations illegally exploiting America's travel, trade, financial and immigration systems".
USA lawmakers are voicing the same demand, along with human rights organizations, who note that ICE is a relatively recent creation.