In a game of political chicken, progressive Democrats fold like a card table. Progressive Democrats in the House recently proposed a controversial Abolish ICE bill, the “Establishing a Humane Immigration Enforcement System Act”.
The proposal picked up traction when self described Democratic Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez made waves by beating Rep. Joe Crowley, the Democrats 4th in command in the House, who was one of their favorites to become Speaker if they take the House in the midterms, in the primaries. Abolishing ICE was one of the more notable tenets of her platform.
In an attempt to capitalize on the progressive fervor after Cortez’ victory, far left Democratic politicians began to make abolishing ICE a talking point. Instead of worrying about this, many Republican politicians and pundits rightfully saw it as a gift to Republicans for the upcoming midterms.
Accordingly, when the bill was proposed in the House, Republicans were more than happy to allow Congressional Democrats to get on the record supporting it, however, when faced with the opportunity, many of them were not so enthusiastic. Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) said of his own bill “If Speaker Ryan puts our bill on the floor, we plan to vote no “.
Some Congressional Democrats have even claimed that putting their own bill to a vote was a “political stunt”, Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) said “We know Speaker [Paul] Ryan is not serious about passing our ‘Establishing a Humane Immigration Enforcement System Act,’ so members of Congress, advocacy groups, and impacted communities will not engage in this political stunt,”.
Democrats regularly deride Trump’s “harsh” and “cruel” immigration policy, but in the first Democrat sponsored immigration bill to come to the floor in years, Democrats seem to have cold feet.