BIDDEFORD - Independent State Representative and Congressional candidate Marty Grohman issued the following statement following today's vote in the U.S. House of Representatives on a resolution rejecting calls to abolish U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE):

"The partisan wrangling that occurred today in Congress about I.C.E. is a perfect example of the problem in Washington.

"Let's be clear: we are not going to abolish our immigration enforcement agency, nor should we. ICE protects our nation’s borders and keeps us safe every day. It would be an irresponsible, knee-jerk reaction to eliminate such a critical component of our national security structure as a way to vent frustration over our immigration system.

"But the real issue is not the proposal to abolish ICE, or this resolution. The real issue is that, while Democrats and Republicans spent their time trying to one-up each other in a purely political back-and-forth, no one did a thing to actually solve our immigration problems.

"While leaders of political parties argued about resolutions, we didn't get any closer to uniting immigrant children with their parents. We did nothing to make our nation's borders more secure. And we came no closer to a common-sense immigration policy that would help our economy and mitigate the growing worker shortage that is holding many of our businesses back.

"During this political sparring, Congress also failed to make health insurance less expensive for Maine families. Nothing moved forward that would make it easier for Maine businesses to grow. And we took no steps to provide the critical funding for recovery and prevention programs for the terrible opioid crisis we face.

"Today was a perfect example of why we need a different approach in Washington. The partisanship is crippling, and it keeps getting worse. We need to send people to Washington who will ignore this gamesmanship and focus on the work that needs to be done. We need to do what’s right for the people of Maine, not for political parties. We need to fix, not fight. That is why I'm running for Congress."