New legislation has been proposed to abolish the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

Abolishing ICE has been demanded by activists and protestors for months. Recently, prominent political figures including Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, Mark Pocan, and Kirsten Gillibrand have supported putting an end to the corrupt agency.

This new bill was created by Democratic Representative Mark Pocan of Wisconsin. It has been backed by two legislators who were immigrants to the U.S. themselves: Representative Pramila Jayapal, a Democrat from Washington, and Adriano Espaillat, a Democratic Representative from New York.

Pocan stated that the legislation is an attempt at a more “humane immigration enforcement system,” adding, “The ICE brand has been so damaged by the president that it can no longer accomplish its original mission. Even ICE agents recognize that ICE doesn’t do what it was intended to.”

The legislation would abolish ICE within a year, and would then create a new agency.

The legislation would bring ICE’s actions into question with regards to international law. The essential functions of the agency would be assessed, as well.

ICE’s departments include combating drug smuggling, financial and cyber crimes, as well as trade fraud and human trafficking.

The legislation will also amend the ways in which our nation handles undocumented immigrants and those seeking asylum.

Congress and the bill’s creators have both stressed that the investigation of ICE must be a bipartisan effort. The plan is to create a team of 8 members who will be chosen by congressional and minority party leaders, combined with 9 members who are from “major civil society and immigrants’ rights organizations,” or who are “individuals directly impacted by ICE’s practices.”

President Trump has declared that abolishing ICE will lead to “open borders,” and although many on the right have adopted this view, it is nothing more than a myth. The new legislation will not affect or change any immigration laws which are already in place.

The need to abolish ICE stems from the agency’s corruption. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand stated:

I don’t think ICE today is working as intended… I believe that it has become a deportation force, and I think you should separate the criminal justice from the immigration issues.”

The soon to be Representative from New York, Alexandra Ocasio-Cortex, stated:

As overseen by the Trump administration, ICE operates with virtually no accountability, ripping apart families and holding our friends and neighbors indefinitely in inhumane detention centers scattered across the United States.”

Earl Blumenauer of Oregon, added:

“Trump and his administration have made the agency so toxic that it’s time to abolish ICE, and start over.”

The agency has adopted extremely hateful practices which range from separating families and detaining children, to raiding churches, schools, and job sites. The agency is a far cry from its original purpose- to keep Americans safe. The agency has become the Trump administration’s puppet, has created a human rights crisis, and has caused trauma to thousands of families.

 

Featured Image via Flickr/Fibonacci Blue