Monday, June 24, 2019

More than a dozen ICE agents and a senator call to eliminate ICE

More than a dozen U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) special agents have signed a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen calling to eliminate ICE and shift its work to another bureau.

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,” the letter states.

At least 19 ICE investigators signed the letter saying they were concerned that the Trump administration’s crackdown on immigration was preventing them from carrying out the agency’s other duties. The agents are members of Homeland Security Investigations, a section of ICE, work on crimes like drug trafficking, cybercrimes and human smuggling, according to the New York Times.

They also suggested that Nielsen create a second bureau just for their investigations, and another for immigration detentions and deportations. Calls to dissolve ICE have recently grown more popular among Democratic lawmakers in light of the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy at the border.

Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) last week introduced a bill to eliminate the agency and just yesterday Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.) became the first sitting senator to call for the elimination of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), telling CNN that the agency should be “reimagined.

The Trump administration has faced criticism for its practice of separating immigrant children from their families at the border, which Trump ended with an executive order last week. Immigrant families will now be detained together under the zero tolerance policy, which requires that all adults caught illegally crossing the border face prosecution.

THE HILL