Donald Trump’s Zero-Tolerance policy of separating families and throwing children in detention centers has stirred a sentiment among many Democrats and liberals to abolish ICE, Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Trump and Republicans have used immigration as a divisive wedge to rile up his base. He’s even accusing those who call to abolish ICE as wanting MS-13 gangs to run wild in the streets. Any rational person (which describes fewer Republicans lately) knows that is preposterous. Just because you don’t want immigrants unjustly punished and families ripped apart doesn’t mean you want open borders or gangs killing Americans. But yelling and screaming about MS-13 has become the latest racist wolf whistle for Republicans.
I have been undecided about abolishing ICE, but now I’m starting to think we don’t need the agency. While ICE isn’t responsible for separating families at the border, it has become an abusive and needless program. It’s also interesting that for once, Republicans are the ones against decreasing the size of government.
ICE has only existed for 15 years. It spends over $2 billion a year on detention out of an annual budget that’s over $7 billion. Private contractors have been benefiting from detention centers, which gives them a huge financial incentive to holding immigrants indefinitely as if they’re al-Qaeda members in Guantanamo. There have been 1,448 allegations of sexual abuse between 2012 and March 2018 in ICE detention centers.
ICE’s job is to round-up illegal immigrants. They don’t patrol the border. That job is for Border Patrol, which can technically operate within 100 miles of the border. Since two-thirds of Americans live within 100 miles of the border, that makes ICE redundant.
Republicans argue we need ICE to catch violent criminals. But, we already have the FBI, the CIA, the NSA, the DEA, the ATF, your local police department, Neighborhood Watch, John Walsh, McGruff the Crime Dog, and your nosy neighbor who calls the cops every time she sees a brown person at the public pool. Now, at least 19 ICE agents want their own agency dissolved, believing the Trump administration’s crackdown on illegal migrants has limited their ability to pursue national security threats, child pornography, and transnational crime.
We need secure borders. We need to arrest violent criminals, whether they were born south of the border or in the United States. But we don’t need to harass and separate families just for seeking a better life for their children, attempting to escape violence in their home country, or even seeking asylum (which is legal). We don’t need to use the issue as a racist wolf whistle. And, we don’t need to hold brown babies and children hostage to fund a wall the president told us we wouldn’t have to pay for.
The greatest threat facing this nation does not come from immigrants. That distinction belongs to the current occupant of the Oval Office.
ICE is very much like the Vanilla Ice song, “Ice, Ice, Baby” (which was ripped off from Queen). It’s redundant, pointless, useless, and should be banished and never seen or heard again. Sorry if I put it in your head today.
Watch me draw.
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