Stand up for the facts!

Our only agenda is to publish the truth so you can be an informed participant in democracy.
We need your help.

More Info

I would like to contribute

Miriam Valverde
By Miriam Valverde March 15, 2018

Website claims Democrats plan to abolish ICE if they win 2020 election

Have Democrats announced plans to abolish one of the nation’s immigration enforcement agencies if they win the 2020 presidential election?

That’s the headline of a March 11 story on, but the text of the story did not support that claim, offering only calls from editorial writers and no presidential politicians as evidence. 

Some left-leaning media outlets, immigrant rights advocates and a former spokesman for the 2016 Hillary Clinton presidential campaign have suggested ending U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, but that’s different from claiming it will be part of a candidate’s platform.

Here’s more to the story and it’s misleading headline.

"Senior Democrats have announced plans to completely abolish ICE if a Democratic candidate wins the presidential election in 2020," said the March 11 post. "According to sources within the DNC, the abolition of the nation’s immigration enforcement agency looks likely to become a primary campaign issue in the Democrats’ 2020 presidential primary."

No sources were named. We reached out to the Democratic National Committee for comment but did not get a response.

The story includes a few sentences contradicting its overarching claim.

It said that Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., was asked on MSNBC if ICE should exist, and that her answer — "certainly" —  "sparked a backlash among some liberals." (In the interview, Harris said undocumented immigrants should be deported if they commit serious and violent offenses. "ICE has a purpose. ICE has a role. ICE should exist.")

Political pundits have speculated that Harris might run for president in 2020. But her stance of keeping ICE goes against’s claim that Democrats announced they will abolish ICE if they win the 2020 election.

The story does include legitimate examples of others calling for an end to ICE, including statements from Brian Fallon, former Hillary Clinton campaign spokesman, and posts published by some media organizations.

Fallon on Jan. 21, 2018 tweeted that Democratic candidates in 2020 "should campaign on ending the agency in its current form."

Jack Mirkinson, a news editor for the website Splinter, took it further in a story responding to Harris’ MSNBC interview, writing, "ICE must be abolished. Anything less is not good enough."

The Nation published a piece on March 9 from researcher and writer Sean McElwee headlined, "It’s Time to Abolish ICE." notes that The Nation’s piece quotes Angel Padilla, policy director of the Indivisible Project, which describes itself as working to "to defeat the Trump agenda, elect progressive leaders, and realize bold progressive policies." included a tweet by MSNBC host Chris Hayes that linked to McElwee’s article and wrote, "This is a growing position on the left, and I imagine 2020 Democratic presidential aspirants will have to grapple with it."

The Nation’s story mentions several Democrats running for Congress and for state offices who support defunding ICE. But it does not cite Democrats with plans to run for president in 2020 calling for ICE’s abolition.

While there are calls from some Democrats running for state offices and Congress to defund ICE,’s post offers no evidence of presidential hopefuls making such claims. It actually cites one possible presidential contender, Harris from California, as saying ICE should exist.

We rate’s post False.

Share the Facts
PolitiFact rating logo PolitiFact Rating:
"Democrats announce they will abolish ICE if they win 2020 election."
in a blog post
Sunday, March 11, 2018

Our Sources

Browse the Truth-O-Meter

More by Miriam Valverde

Website claims Democrats plan to abolish ICE if they win 2020 election

Support independent fact-checking.
Become a member!

In a world of wild talk and fake news, help us stand up for the facts.

Sign me up