Will Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) ever catch a break? Although it has been instrumental in curbing illegal immigration, blocking drug smugglers, and rescuing victims of human trafficking, the Democrats continue to treat the agency as federal law enforcement’s red-headed stepchild.
During a recent negotiation on border security spending, Democratic officials proposed a plan that would hamper ICE’s ability to perform its duties. With the party’s recent calls to abolish the agency, this new move comes as no surprise. Yet their machinations against ICE are unlikely to succeed.
The negotiations were designed to determine how much funding would be allocated to border security. As you might imagine, the primary focus was the border wall, which Democrats have strenuously opposed. But a significant chunk of time was spent discussing related topics, including the funding for ICE, whose representative was not allowed to attend the meeting. Last year, the federal budget allowed for ICE detention centers to house 51,379 beds. Under the Democrats’ proposal, the number of beds in ICE detention centers would be drastically decreased to 35,520. It’s worth pointing out that the Republican offer would also decrease the number of beds to 40,520.
No Bed, No Detention
A Democratic aide told The Washington Times that the party’s proposal is designed to impede the work of the agency, which has achieved much success in its efforts to remove dangerous illegal immigrants from the country. “Limiting the number of ICE detention beds is a way of controlling the Trump administration’s cruel immigration policies,” said the aide. “If history is a guide, there has to be some compromise on both beds and border infrastructure, and we are working to ensure there is a workable glide path downward on beds.”
Republicans aren’t doing much to support ICE’s mission, either. Some Republican lawmakers have simply not been on board with the Trump administration’s efforts to rein in illegal entries. While some, such as Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO), Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX), and Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), have paid lip service to the importance of addressing border security, they have been rather milquetoast when it comes to implementing real solutions. Nonetheless, they have not gone as far as the radical left, which seeks to eliminate an agency that has been instrumental in enforcing U.S. immigration laws.
As usual, it appears that neither the Democrats nor Republicans have taken into account the potential impact this move could have on everyday Americans. ICE told The Washington Times that “up to 30,000 releases of criminals, illegal aliens with criminal charges and recent border crossers” would result if the agency is forced to remove detainees due to lack of bedding facilities. That’s right. The Democrats are willing to allow up to 30,000 criminals to be released into the public.
Can ICE Get a Break?
Immigration and Customs Enforcement has been under fire since the far-left progressive movement took over much of the Democratic Party, while establishment Republicans seem satisfied to neglect the agency when it suits their political objectives.
…ICE still has one powerful ally: President Donald Trump.
The progressive left persists in its calls to dissolve ICE. Fortunately, their views are not shared by the majority of Democrats; a 2018 poll by the Associated Press and NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that while 57% of Democrats are critical of ICE, only a quarter wanted to actually eliminate it. Nor do progressives currently have the means to carry out their agenda.
Despite all that, ICE still has one powerful ally: President Donald Trump. During the State of the Union Address, Trump defiantly vowed that America “will never abolish our heroes from ICE.” The agency has had a string of victories during the trump administration; recently, officers made a series of major arrests in New England in which they apprehended violent criminals and drug traffickers.
As the battle over the border wall continues, related border concerns such as the number of beds in ICE detention facilities remain a critical problem. There are many facets involved in protecting America’s borders, and it is essential that those who wish to decrease the flow of illegal immigrants into the country understand the strategy of the open borders crowd. They are not only focused on preventing a wall from being built; they are implementing an overall approach designed to make it easier for individuals to enter the country illegally.