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Trump blasts calls to abolish ICE, but could it really happen?

SEATTLE -- The "Abolish ICE" movement is gaining ground and getting the attention of some Democrats in Congress, including Washington Rep. Pramila Jayapal.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) policies will be a key issue in this year's elections. Q13 News Correspondent Simone Del Rosario examines what ICE is and what it does.

This is what President Donald Trump said about ICE during an interview that aired on Fox News Sunday night.

"You know ICE, these are the guys that take MS-13 (gang members) and they take them out because they're much tougher than MS-13, like by a factor of 10," Trump said. "You get rid of ICE, you're going to have a country that you're gonna be afraid to walk out of your house."

Were you afraid to walk out of your house before the year 2003? That's when ICE was created.

It was formed under the Department of Homeland Security, which was created in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks. DHS also absorbed the U.S. Border Patrol, which became Customs and Border Protection, or CBP.

CBP is limited to the country's entry points and within 100 miles of a U.S. border. ICE has no limits. It's why there's a detention facility in Tacoma, the site of protests the past few weeks.

ICE's role, clearly stated in its name, is to enforce the immigration and customs laws of this country. ICE includes branches like the Homeland Security Investigations unit, which does important work, from seizing drugs to busting up criminal organizations.

But the calls to abolish it continue, not because of its record on seizing drugs, but its record on seizing people.

Jayapal called ICE a "rogue agency." She and a minority of Democrats want to start over and there's legislation being written right now to do just that.

If you examine history, you know the functions of ICE have been around long before the agency began, even if its creation made executing those functions more effective.

It is possible to abolish ICE, but getting rid of it won't solve the problems with ICE or the problems ICE solves.