The biggest four-letter word in the English language for Democrats has been Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Now they will get what they want thanks to Republicans in the House. House Republicans like their hand and are going all in: They are allowing a Democratic bill to come to the floor thinking they have public opinion on their side.
As House Majority Whip Steve Scalise said, “Democrats have been trying to make July 4th about abolishing ICE which is a radical, extreme position that would lead to open borders and undermine America’s national security.”
Yesterday three Democrats who claim ICE has become militarized by President Trump introduced a bill, The Establishing a Humane Immigration Enforcement System Act, that would abolish the 15-year-old agency.
One of the bill’s authors, Mark Pocan, proclaimed: “President Trump’s blanket directive to round up and target all undocumented immigrants underscores the unchecked power which ICE has used to terrorize our communities. From conducting raids at garden centers and meatpacking plants to targeting families outside churches and schools, the president is using ICE as a mass-deportation force to rip apart the moral fabric of our nation.”
Republicans have conjured a false but dramatic image of what this country would look like should there be no ICE. It would be a battered wasteland filled with drug dealers, gang violence and terrorists. Not to mention the U.S. would be the new hub for human trafficking.
Even fierce Trump adversary Sen. Chuck Schumer is hesitant to go for the extreme his colleagues are proposing. He addressed this issue earlier this month in a news conference in his home state of New York. “No American likes the separation of children and that’s an awful thing and that’s got to be stopped, but ICE does do some things that are very important.”
By forcing a debate on the floor, Republicans are hoping that the American people will hear the Democrats’ agenda and reject it. The Democrats are hoping for an alternative conclusion. Ben Ray Lujn, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign, wasn’t concerned with the GOP’s attempt to use the vote as a campaign issue. “If Republicans choose to bring a bill to the floor, they’re going to have to have a conversation and answer questions to the American people about why they’re ignoring their oversight responsibilities to the inhuman treatment of children and to standing up to this president when it comes to how he treats Dreamers.”