Jul 13, 2018

Republicans allow vote on Dem bill to abolish ICE

"Abolish ICE" protests have happened around the country. Photo: Erik McGregor/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

Republicans are allowing a vote on a Democratic bill to abolish U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to show the country "that it will not happen on the House Republican majority's watch," a senior GOP aide tells Axios.

Why it matters: Calling to abolish ICE has become Dems' rallying cry since Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez won her primary. But with this vote, Republicans can use it as an issue to energize their base ahead of the November election.

Be smart: This is a base issue for both parties, and, to its core, the issue isn't even really about immigration reform. "There’s no incentive for legislative compromise because both sides see cultural and political advantage with keeping the rhetoric up on immigration," said Brent McGoldrick, CEO of Republican research firm Deep Root Analytics.

Yes, but: The hot-button issue of immigration is dividing Democrats more than uniting them, and holding an official vote on the House floor will force Dem members to go on the record with where they stand. "The liberal wing of the party is eating their own," the GOP source added.

  • CNN reports House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy told reporters that the goal of bringing an ICE bill to the floor for a vote is to simply "have a debate about it." It's not yet known when the vote will happen.

Go deeper: Top Democrats see danger on the party's calls to abolish ICE.

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