Democrat candidates are beginning to make clear at least one of their political objectives, should they win office in the November congressional elections: the abolishment of United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
A new poll shows many Democrat supporters are backing their candidates and also want the federal agency dissolved.
Pew Research reports that the favorability rating received by ICE is completely dependent on party affiliation: 72 percent of Democrats view the agency unfavorably and the same number of Republicans view the agency favorably.
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However, views of ICE are evenly divided. About as many Americans view Immigration and Customs Enforcement favorably (44%) as unfavorably (47%). A majority of liberal Democrats hold ‘very unfavorable’ views of ICE
Republicans and Democrats have diametrically opposing views of the immigration enforcement agency, and the differences are particularly stark between conservative Republicans and liberal Democrats.
Nearly eight-in-ten conservative Republicans (77%) view ICE favorably, with 40% expressing a very favorable opinion. Among moderate and liberal Republicans, views are less positive (62% give ICE a favorable rating, including 29% who say they view it very favorably).
A large majority of liberal Democrats (82%) view ICE unfavorably, with 53% viewing the agency very unfavorably. Conservative and moderate Democrats feel less negatively about ICE (60% unfavorable, 35% very unfavorable).
Americans’ opinions about Immigration and Customs Enforcement are deeply polarized: 72% of Republicans view ICE favorably, while an identical share of Democrats view it unfavorably https://t.co/futnnyceXw pic.twitter.com/VE6t7GQ4ux
— Pew Research Center (@pewresearch) July 24, 2018
The deeply polarizing favorability seems to have spread across some other federal agencies, like the FBI, the Justice Department and the Environmental Protection Agency:
Similar shares of Republicans and Democrats now view the Justice Department and EPA favorably – the first time that has occurred in surveys dating to 2010. Wide partisan gap in positive ratings of the IRS, as well as the FBI and ICE
About six-in-ten in both parties view the CIA and the Department of Health and Human Services favorably. And substantial majorities in both parties (85% of Democrats, 84% of Republicans) view the National Park Service favorably.
Aside from the sharp divides between Republicans and Democrats on ICE and the FBI, there continue to be partisan differences in views of the IRS. Democrats (65%) are more likely than Republicans (49%) to view the IRS favorably. However, Republicans feel more positively toward the IRS today than in September 2016, before the presidential election, when just 34% viewed the IRS favorably. Views among Democrats have remained fairly steady.
While clear majorities in both parties view the Census Bureau favorably, there is a partisan gap: About three-quarters of Democrats (74%) have a positive view of the bureau, compared with two-thirds of Republicans (66%).
While a metric of viewing an agency, like ICE, unfavorably does not reflect whether an individual would want to abolish it completely, some Democrat candidates have the abolition of ICE on their campaign platforms.
The Daily Caller reports Democrats like Wisconsin Congressman Mark Pocan, Massachusetts Congressman Jim McGovern, Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer, Washington Congressman Pramila Jayapal, and New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, among others, have called for ICE to be eliminated.
A recent poll from Rasmussen released on July 5 reflects slightly different numbers than Pew and indicate that a majority of Americans do not want ICE abolished. The results of the poll indicate 55 percent of respondents oppose abolishing the agency and only 25 percent support the idea of terminating the agency.