Thursday, July 12, 2018

Abolish ICE

I see all this hand-wringing about how the call to abolish ICE is a bad political strategy, but no one seems to be addressing the proposal on its merits. As I see it the argument to abolish ICE goes like this:

1. The agency that is charged with defending the nation's borders is the Border Patrol, so ICE duplicates an enforcement agency that already exists.

2. ICE's mandate is broader and vaguer than the Border Patrol's, so that will inevitably lead to abuses, and there have been a ton of abuses in the short history of ICE's existence.

3. ICE was only created in 2003, during the post-9/11 hysteria. The border was guarded before 2003 (by the Border Patrol, see above). Calling for an abolition of ICE is not the same as calling for open borders or the abolition of all law enforcement.

Putting aside how the "abolish ICE" proposal will play out politically, what are the counter-arguments to the merits of abolishing ICE?

I am on the abolish ICE bandwagon, but I understand that I don't know everything about the enforcement of immigration law and maybe abolishing ICE would actually be a bad idea. I just wish someone would try to explain what that would be the case. I am open to being convinced. Convince me!