Senate candidate from New Mexico wants ICE abolished

New Mexico

In this July 8, 2019, photo, a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers escort a man in handcuffs during an operation in Escondido, Calif. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A candidate seeking the Democratic nomination to an open Senate seat announced her support Tuesday for disbanding U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and turning its responsibilities over to the FBI and others.

New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver said in a statement that she wants to “abolish ICE” and accused the agency of undermining community safety and stability.

“As millions of people huddled in fear of mass raids, ICE no longer prevents terrorism, instead it creates terror in the United States,” Toulouse Oliver said in a statement.

The state’s top election regulator is competing with U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján in the 2020 Democratic primary to succeed retiring Democratic Sen. Tom Udall.

Republican Senate candidate Gavin Clarkson rebuffed Toulouse Oliver, saying that it is “sad to see her trashing brave men and women who literally risk their lives every day defending the rule of law and protecting our citizens.”

ICE activities were in the spotlight after the Trump administration announced the agency would sweep 10 major cities for families who are in the country illegally and have been ordered to leave.

Toulouse Oliver says ICE has strayed from its core mission of preventing terrorist acts and removing dangerous people, and that the agency’s functions can be handled by other, more accountable law enforcement agencies.

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