The president's approach to immigration has come under renewed scrutiny since the revelation that the administration's "zero-tolerance" policy involved the separation of families at the U.S. -Mexico border.
Trump on Saturday claimed he has "watched ICE liberate towns from the grasp of MS-13".
One Democratic aide in the House, who was not authorised to speak on the record, called proposals to abolish ICE "stupid" and said the strategy would "play right into Trump's hands". Among them were Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the 28-year-old Democratic socialist who upset Congressman Joseph Crowley, in a primary election, and senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Elizabeth Warren.
"We should protect families that need our help and that's not what ICE is doing today", she said.
But Hemanth Gundavaram, co-director of the Immigrant Justice Clinic at Northeastern University in Boston, said ICE has been diverted from its stated mission, used as a tool by President Donald Trump to implement his "racist and xenophobic" immigration policy.
"But what I think it allows us to do is talk about the facts", he said. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of MA, have stopped short of calling for ICE to be terminated outright and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus has circulated talking points advising caution - arguing in a memo obtained by CNN that "abolishing ICE without changing President Trump's disastrous immigration policy will not solve the problem".
Trump's reversal in the form of an Executive Order mandating that the families are not separated has raised new questions over how long the Administration will detain them and in what conditions.
France Team vs Argentina, Predicted XI
That tells you everything. "With the talent he has, the smallest thing can create a spark, his unpredictability sets him apart". "Our group games left a mixed impression, so I would dare to say that from tomorrow it's a new start for us".
"The Democratic Party had a reckoning about the crime bill, financial deregulation and about welfare reform, but it never really had a reckoning about their complicity in creating both the intellectual framework for this sort of policy", said Sean McElwee, a leading activist in the anti-ICE movement and early supporter of Ocasio-Cortez's campaign.
On CNN Thursday, Gillibrand said ICE has "become a deportation force" and said, "you should get rid of it, start over, reimagine it and build something that actually works".
ICE spokeswoman Liz Johnson condemned calls to abolish the agency as "dangerously misguided".
"The radical left Dems want you out", Trump said Saturday.
He urged ICE agents to "not worry or lose your spirit".
Several prominent Democrats who are mulling a bid for the White House in 2020 have sought to bolster their progressive credentials by calling for major changes to immigration enforcement, with some pressing for the outright abolition of the federal government's chief immigration enforcement agency.
An estimated 30,000 protesters marched from Manhattan to Brooklyn with pins and signs that read, "Abolish ICE", joining more than 700 other rallies across the United States organized by the Families Belong Together-Freedom for Immigrants March. So brave!' Trump tweeted. So fearless! The radical left Dems want you out. Next it will be all police. "Zero chance, It will never happen!"