Reprinted with permission from Shareblue.
As Trump’s self-inflicted crisis of family separations at the border continues, a growing number of Americans and public officials say that the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) should be disbanded and reorganized.
And this idea has support from a surprising source: the leaders of ICE’s criminal investigative division.
Nineteen special agents in charge of the Leaders of the Homeland Security Investigative Division (HSI) at ICE issued a warning to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen that Trump’s anti-immigrant zeal is diverting attention and resources from the prosecution of serious crimes — including terrorism, child pornography, and more.
The 19 agents sent a letter addressed to Nielsen, who has been a public face for Trump lying aboutthe border policy, asking her to create a standalone unit to deal with immigration detention. The investigative unit leaders argue that because ICE is giving HSI a bad name, HSI needs to split off from ICE into a separate agency in order to do its job effectively.
The agents note that ICE 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.”
ICE is known for its immigration enforcement — but only one branch of ICE, Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO), actually works on immigration arrests and deportations. The other branch, HSI, does investigative work on issues like counterterrorism, narcotics enforcement, and human trafficking.
And according to the agents, the inhumanity of Trump’s crackdown on families is jeopardizing this important work — pursing national security threats, dealing with international crimes, and fighting child pornography.
Instead of fighting crime — including the worst sort of exploitation of children imaginable — the Trump administration has targeted migrant families, many of whom are crossing the border legally to seek asylum.
Thanks to Trump’s zero tolerance policy, all border crossers have to be prosecuted in federal criminal court. This has triggered mandatory separations, taking infants and toddlers away from their parents — possibly forever.
This is still the case despite a court order requiring the administration to stop separating families and reunify the children who have already been separated.
Trump has forced ICE to amplify arrests and detainment of undocumented immigrants. This has led to communities living in fear as agents of ICE deceive people in the hopes of entrapping them to meet Trump’s demands for racially biased harassment.
Trump and the Republican Party have said targeting the mostly Latino population is a boon for their electoral efforts. “My people love it,” Trump reportedly bragged earlier this month.
The missive from the agents reveals that child pornographers and terrorists have been given a green light from the highest office in the nation.
Because Trump and his party think they will reap political rewards for punishing a minority group, thousands of crime victims are being deprived of justice, and more lives are being endangered.
Suffering across the board is the Trump administration’s policy — and Trump only shows signs of enjoying it all.
Published with permission of The American Independent.