CHARLOTTE, NC: They say “a picture is worth a thousand words” so when the mainstream media either prints or broadcasts gut-wrenching images of migrants being stopped at the southwestern border of the US, it has a huge impact. Consequently, the American immigration issue has heated up considerably in the past several months. Now Abolishing Ice may become a defining issue in the upcoming November elections.
Democrats call for abolishing ICE
Many Democrats are calling to abolish U.S. Immigration and Customs (ICE). However, only about 25 percent of Americans support the effort. It is arguably just another “screeching point” employed against the most contentious presidency since Abraham Lincoln. The Atlantic writes that Lincoln’s “ideas led to a period so divisive it nearly tore one nation into two.”
The divisions in America today, however, may have a considerable effect on the upcoming elections, much of which could be determined by significantly heavy doses of hocus-pocus news coverage on both sides.
ICE was established in 2003 following the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 in a process of unification to make certain government agencies more efficient in dealing with immigration policies and homeland security.
Who is ICE?
The organization is comprised of three major offices, of which the best-known division, Enforcement and Removal Operations, arrests, detains and deports unauthorized immigrants already inside the United States.
The second agency, Homeland Security Investigations, pursues criminals and terrorists involved in drug trafficking, weapons smuggling, human trafficking, cyber-crime, financial crimes and identity fraud.
Legal support and government representation in immigration courts provided by the Office of the Principal Legal Advisor is the smallest division of ICE.
Already it is easy to see how people can become confused with the myriad number of agencies dealing with all manner of government issues to the extent that redundancy is inevitable.
Furthermore, when it is difficult to sort out the precise responsibilities of individual divisions, the budget for red-tape grows exponentially with its inefficiency.
When it’s not ICE, but we blame them anyway
For example, many people believe ICE that is responsible for the graphic images of parents being separated from their children. Actually, those actions belong to Customs and Border Protection which is the parent agency for patrolling, monitoring and securing our borders with Canada and Mexico.
If the perception that ICE is the culprit, then it’s easy to see where the confusion lies in the “pick-up sticks” chaos of day-to-day government operations.
At one time or another, we have all seen movies where Bruce Willis or Clint Eastwood show up at a crime scene and immediately get into a shouting match about which agency has the most authority. The ICE controversy is much the same. It’s an alphabet soup of Washington acronyms.
ICE accomplishments in 2018
Abolishing ICE would mean the wholesale expansion of crime throughout the US. In the last year, ICE has overseen and stopped more than:
• 76,000 dangerous drug offenses
• 48,000 assault offenses
• 11,000 weapon offenses
• 5,000 sexual assault offenses
• 2,000 kidnapping offenses
• 1,800 homicide offenses
Add to the debate Barack Obama’s approach where ICE deported undocumented immigrants who committed serious crimes in the U.S., as opposed to President Trump’s more severe stance of targeting anyone who enters the country illegally, and you have a recipe for polarizing protests on a nationwide scale.
ICE is being handcuffed over illegal immigrants
According to the New York Times, homeland security secretary, Kirstjen Nielsen, received a letter from ICE agents explaining that current perceptions of “ICE’s focus on deportations” is handcuffing their efforts to do their jobs and conduct investigations.
In addition, there were claims that local law enforcement officials have, in many cases, refused to cooperate due to the political firestorm of immigration.
In a melting pot country comprised of immigrants from all over the world, immigration is becoming a major issue. There are those who accept the process so long as it is done legally. On the other, tragic photos of parents and children being separated flash before our eyes on a daily basis which appeal to innate American compassion.
The question will be “when the heat reaches critical mass, will ICE eventually melt?” And when that happens, which political party will suffer most? Or will it just be Americans who feel the burn?
About the Author:
Bob Taylor is a veteran writer who has traveled throughout the world. Taylor is an award-winning television producer/reporter/anchor before focusing on writing about international events, people and cultures around the globe.
Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com)
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