Over the past few weeks, as more and more politicians and activists speak out about the Trump administration’s policy of separating children from their parents, we have heard several Democrats call for abolishing the federal law enforcement agency, ICE (U.S. Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement).
Republicans, who for the most part, have been all about accepting President Trump’s attacks on the FBI, are now condemning Democrats for suggesting changes to the way that ICE is operated. While some Democrats like Alexandria Oscasio-Cortez have suggested dissolving ICE, others have simply suggested that the duties given to ICE be reviewed and made more inline with the original purpose of the agency, post 9/11.
This week, however, things got even more interesting, as 19 ICE regional supervisors penned a letter (seen below) to the Secretary of Homeland Security, Kirstjen Nielsen, saying that the current administration’s polices have put the agency in a bind.
“HSI’s investigations have been perceived as targeting undocumented aliens, instead of the transnational criminal organizations that facilitate cross border crimes impacting our communities and national security,” the special agents at ICE explained in a previous letter, according to Texas Observer.
The newly written letter, explains to Neilsen that Homeland Security investigators “have been perceived as targeting undocumented aliens, instead of the transnational criminal organizations that facilitate cross border crimes impacting our communities and national security.”
ICE is made up of two sub-agencies: HSI (Homeland Security Investigations) and ERO (Enforcement and Removal Operations). The agents who penned this letter believe that HSI and ERO should be separated from each other so that HSI can resume their obligation of tracking down and investigating transnational criminal organizations, while ERO can fully implement their original obligation to enforce immigration policy.
Dissolving ICE would not mean that border detention, and enforcement would cease to exist, but rather that ERO, the arm responsible for doing so, would become a separate entity from HSI, allowing both HSI and ERO to operate independently from one another and no longer fall under the same federal budget.
The entire letter can be view below:ICE-letter