Donald Trump has weaponized the Homeland Security Investigation’s (HSI)’s ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) agency. It has been responsible for investigating gang violence, sexual predators of children, and deportation (ICE agents sometimes wear HSI on their backs). Now, Congress has had enough of Trump’s inhumane lack of immigration compassion, but did it take the right action?
Wisconsin Representative Mark Pocan (D) identified ICE as a symbol of President Trump’s immigration policy. He said it was “heartless” and had become a tool for “white nationalists.”
The country has been watching in alarm as ICE agents have been ordered to capture people seeking asylum from certain death. Then, Trump ordered his people to separate babies as young as three months old, toddlers and children from mothers and fathers as a “deterrent.” Not only that, no one can touch these suffering children.
Pocan released a statement after traveling to the U.S.’s southern border, according to The Washington Times:
‘During my trip to the southern border, it was clear that ICE, and its actions of hunting down and tearing apart families, has wreaked havoc on far too many people. From conducting raids at garden centers and meatpacking plants, to breaking up families at churches and schools, ICE is tearing apart families and ripping at the moral fabric of our nation.’
The representative announced that he will introduce a bill to “abolish ICE:”
‘I’m introducing legislation that would abolish ICE and crack down on the agency’s blanket directive to target and round up individuals and families.’
Pocan’s legislation would discontinue ICE immediately. His plan would move some of the group’s duties to other agencies.
His idea was also to build a commission, according to Mic, that would advise Congress about how to:
‘Implement a humane immigration enforcement system that upholds the dignity of all individuals. The heartless actions of this abused agency do not represent the values of our nation, and the U.S. must develop a more humane immigration system, one that treats every person with dignity and respect.’
The representative was formally joined by two other representatives, Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Pramila Jayapal (D-WA.). In addition, Senator Kama Harris (D-CA) said that ICE needs to be reinvented, and maybe the legislators should “start from scratch.”
A leading advocate for abolishing ICE and co-founder of the progressive Data for Progress group, Sean McElwee said:
‘The speed at which Abolish ICE has moved from slogan to legislation is telling. Every Democrat who wants to be President must articulate to the progressive base a vision of a world without ICE.
Pocan said that he was partially motivated to sponsor the bill, because Trump and his leading adviser, Stephen Miller, misused ICE:
‘Unfortunately, President Trump and his team of white nationalists, including Stephen Miller, have so misused ICE that the agency can no longer accomplish its goals effectively.’
Protesters blockaded and virtually closed down the ICE office in Portland, Oregon. The city’s police refused to become involved and protect ICE from those protesters.
Featured Image via Getty Images/John Moore.