By Neil Munro - breitbart.com
GOP legislators wrapped the unpopular “Abolish ICE!” campaign around House Democrats on Wednesday, by forcing a floor vote where 167 Democrats abstained or voted against a resolution praising the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.
Democratic leaders protested and denounced the resolution, which was passed by 226 GOP votes. “This is the equivalent of fiddling while Rome is burning … It is a meaningless stunt,” said Democratic Rep. Ralph Nadler. “We have more important things to do.”
Democrats are under growing pressure from their progressive base to block ICE’s popular immigration reforms. But that is electoral poison, so Democratic leaders have been trying to shift attention back to higher priorities issues such as healthcare.
Only 18 Democrats voted for the GOP’s pro-enforcement resolution, while 34 Democrats voted against the resolution and 133 abstained by voting “present” in the hope of minimizing the blowback from ordinary voters or the progressive base.
The vote was an easy option for the GOP leaders, partly because it focuses voters’ attention on illegal immigration and away from the much bigger inflow of legal immigrants. Legal immigration is far more important for Americans worried about their jobs, salaries, and neighborhoods, but the GOP’s leaders receive much funding from business groups which gain from the annual inflow of 1 million legal workers, consumers, and renters.
GOP leaders made the most of their political opportunity:
Rep. Steve Scalise: I am proud to #StandWithICE. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents protect our communities from terrorism, human trafficking, illegal drugs, and gang violence. It's deeply concerning that House Democrats refuse to stand up for American national security over open borders.
“What does the resolution do? It simply says we stand behind our ICE agents, those brave men and women who are keeping America safe,” said Lousiana Rep. Steve Scalise, the GOP’s whip. “Are we for open borders? Absolutely not!” he said. “Any other vote [than yes] is a vote for open borders.”
The resolution, by Lousiana Rep. Clay Higgins, listed the successes of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in 2017 and declared:
That the House of Representatives—
(1) expresses its continued support for all United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers and personnel who carry out the important mission of ICE;
(2) denounces calls for the complete abolishment of ICE; and
(3) supports the efforts of all Federal agencies, State law enforcement, and military personnel who bring law and order to our Nation’s borders.