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Poll: Arizona voters overwhelmingly oppose abolition of ICE

Protestors block the entrance to a downtown federal building housing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) offices Monday, July 2, 2018, in San Diego. People protested against ICE on Monday, chanting slogans and temporarily blocking an entrance to a federal building. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

PHOENIX — Protesters and even politicians around the country have been calling for the abolition of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, but it appears unlikely to be a winning campaign issue in Arizona.

Nearly two-thirds of likely Arizona voters were against the idea of abolishing the agency, according to polling done this week by Data Orbital.

“It cuts across party lines,” George Khalaf, president of Data Orbital, told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Thursday. “Republicans and independents are both unified in their opposition to the abolishing of ICE.

“And even Democrats by a 5 percent margin do not support it.”

Only 17 percent of those polled said they supported getting rid of ICE, while 64 percent were against it and 19 percent were undecided.

The telephone poll was conducted Monday and Tuesday and had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.2 percent.

Among Republicans, 80 percent were against abolishing ICE and 6 percent were for it.

On the other side, 39 percent of Democrats were against disolving the agency and 35 percent were for it.

“I was slightly surprised the Democrats also did not favor abolishing ICE,” Khalaf said.

Independents were against it, 70-12 percent.

A recent Politico poll showed that 54 percent of registered voters across the country were opposed to the idea.

“Obviously Arizona is going to be more conservative on average, particularly on the issue of immigration,” Khalaf said.

ICE was created in 2003 within the Department of Homeland Security.

On Tuesday, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey wrote an opinion piece for USA Today, arguing that law enforcement agencies like ICE “aren’t the enemy: they’re a lifeline.”

Some of the politicians who have joined the call to dismantle ICE include state Sens. Juan Mendez and Martín J. Quezada, state Reps. Athena Salman and Rebecca Rios, Flagstaff City Council member Eva Putzova and Balsz School District governing board member Channel Powe, according to The Intercept.

Other high-profile Arizona Democrats, including U.S. Reps. Ruben Gallego and Raul Grijalva, have called for the restructuring of ICE but have stopped short of calling for its abolition.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Mark Carlson contributed to this report.

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