by Dave Mindeman
I know that the idea of abolishing ICE is growing in progressive thought; I very much understand that but I do not agree with that concept.
ICE is a law enforcement agency. It implements the policy it is told to enforce. ICE has been told to enforce a policy that is flawed and is wrong – but that is not the fault of the agency.
We need a border patrol. If something unforeseen happened in Central America – massive floods, earthquake, military coup – people might flood our border in order to seek safety. Something like that could create a refugee crisis like the one caused by the Syrian conflict. Without some kind of proper processing, the border area would turn into a chaotic humanitarian crisis.
That is one of the reasons for ICE. Another is that desperate people do desperate things, and border officers have to be on the look out for border crossers that get themselves into a desperate situation where they need someone’s help.
And we do need border checkpoints so that we can process legitimate visa entries and make sure drug smuggling is stopped to the extent we can.
ICE is not the problem. The Trump administration’s use of ICE is the real issue here.
As border states have become aggressive in enforcing strict border integrity, border policy has developed into a right leaning agenda talking point. A zealous, overreaching President has turned that enforcement into a nightmare.
Border policy can change or at least ease the aggressiveness. There are many very legitimate requests for asylum – they are being ignored and the people involved are actually being punished with insane family separation. That needs to end and that can really only come from a change in administration policy or a change in administration, period.
Once again, that is not about ICE – it is about what they are directed to do. I have the feeling that many ICE officers are conflicted about what they are required to do to keep their jobs.
Abolishing ICE accomplishes little. Once again, the real remedy only comes at the ballot box. Change the leadership – change the policy.
That is where our focus must continue to be.