Recently, TBS Late-Night comedienne, Samantha Bee, confidently stated on live television that the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) needs to be eliminated from the United States, a claim that is not only egregious, but also reflective of the open borders lobby refusal to separate emotions from facts when discussing immigration reform. Not quite on par with her classless and vulgar remark about Ivanka Trump, but still ignorant.
On her broadcast “Full Frontal,” a show that draws in millions of nightly viewers, Bee scrutinized ICE, declaring, “Let’s shut it the f*** down. I’m serious. It’s awful. And we don’t actually need it. You know, I’m a liberal. I don’t usually advocate for smaller government, but in this case, as I say to my barista every morning, there should be one less ICE.”
Bee’s comments are not surprising. She has been a firm advocate for open borders and has a fundamental misunderstanding of the key role ICE plays in American law enforcement.
As a division of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, ICE enforces over 400 statutes relating to everything from counterfeit goods, to customs duties, to foreign students. And it does all this in order to keep Americans safe. Its 20,000 employees and 400 offices throughout the country enforce laws relating to the removal of immigration violators and has increasingly become a significant player in combating terrorism.
Since 2003, ICE has deported more than three million aliens, with the agency removing over 240,000 aliens and well over 60,000 criminal aliens from the country in 2016 alone (and that was the slowest year in recent memory). These numbers include members of violent gangs such as MS-13 and individuals who have committed serious crimes, such as murder.
With nearly 231,000 crimes committed by aliens between 2013 and 2015, and approximately 180,000 criminal aliens who remain at-large in the U.S. with deportation orders, as well as a population of 12.5 million illegal aliens currently in the U.S., it remains imperative to keep ICE intact and fully supported. Local and state law enforcement agencies already have a tough enough job keeping our streets safe. If ICE were abolished, alien criminals and immigration violators would simply remain in American cities, where they could commit additional crimes.
It is also important to note, when given the opportunity to fully exercise its authorities, the simple presence of ICE deters potential illegal aliens from crossing the border or overstaying their visa. The existence of the agency reminds them that successfully eluding the Border Patrol does not mean they are now safe from apprehension and deportation.
Allowing foreign nationals to flout American immigration laws undermines the public order that is necessary for average citizens to conduct their daily business safely. That’s why having an interior immigration enforcement agency, and allowing it to do its job, is important. As opined by Ira Mehlman, media director at FAIR, “Law enforcement — particularly enforcement of civil laws — rarely feels good. But…what feels good can be harmful and what is necessary is often uncomfortable.”
Matthew Tragesser writes for the Federation of Americans on Immigration Reform.