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What would it mean to abolish ICE?

Ninna Gaensler-Debs
A child investigates a display of stuffed animals - each one represents a migrant child held in detention.


In the past few weeks, the Bay Area has had one protest after another over the country’s immigration policies. There were thousands of people who took to the streets to march in protest of family separation.

People camped outside of ICE offices in San Francisco for a week, protesters showed up day after day to stand outside of the West County Detention Center, and many of them had the same message: Abolish ICE.


The idea has been gaining traction with everyone from immigration advocates to national politicians. But what would abolishing ICE even look like? And what would that mean for the Bay Area?


KALW’s immigration reporter Ninna Gaensler-Debs helps us sort through what this all means.


"This idea of abolishing ICE has become kind of representative, right? It’s a way to talk about major immigration reform with this exciting slogan, but when it comes down to it, when politicians are calling to abolish ICE, they might not actually mean abolish it. Lots of politicians have stopped just short of saying get rid of it — people like Senator Feinstein, House Minority Leader Pelosi, for example."

Ninna Gaensler-Debs is a reporter and editor for Crosscurrents. Since 2012, Ninna has worn a variety of hats at KALW - she was both a producer and event planner for Localore project Hear Here. Ninna also programmed and organized the Sights and Sounds live events - two in Bayview, and most recently, one in East Oakland.