In 2018, while campaigning for Pennsylvania lieutenant governor with Gov. Tom Wolf (D), Fetterman was asked by voters if the United States federal government ought “to get rid of ICE.” He dodged the question, refusing to state where he stood on abolishing the agency.
“You know, I believe, throughout my campaign, we were well out in front of the immigration issue in this country … and Gov. Wolf has done everything he can and continues to do everything he can to close down the Berks County detention facility,” Fetterman said:
My wife is a former DREAMer. You know, immigration and the way we are treating these families is an outrage. I think we, from my perspective, we need to, as a country, remember that immigration is what help made this country great and the way the Trump administration and, presumably, the way Scott Wagner would treat these kinds of families and people in Pennsylvania is profoundly unAmerican. [Emphasis added]
When asked again “So you would not push to abolish ICE?” Fetterman responded by again dodging the question, choosing not to disavow the Abolish ICE movement:
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Well, it’s something … we are leaders on immigration reform right now. It’s something that’s very … Gov. Wolf is using every asset at his disposal to shut the Berks County family detention center down. I fundamentally believe the cities across Pennsylvania remain a rightful sanctuary for a lot of these immigrants and a place of refuge for families across Pennsylvania. [Emphasis added]
The questions to Fetterman came as 2018 served as the peak of the Abolish ICE movement with the election of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), who campaigned on a promise to eliminate the agency tasked with enforcing federal immigration law.
As Breitbart News reported at the time, abolishing ICE would have set free more than 1.6 million illegal aliens in the U.S. from 2013 to 2017. In Fiscal Year 2014, alone, there would have been more than half a million illegal aliens released into American communities if Democrats had their way.