Do not abolish ICE

This month, officials with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested 132 individuals in Virginia and Washington, D.C. Those taken into custody on various criminal and civil violations included:

An El Salvadoran national identified as a high-ranking MS-13 gang member;

A Bolivian national who has four prior convictions for rape and intercourse with a victim under age 13;

A Honduran national and illegal re-entrant with an outstanding warrant for two counts of felony rape, two counts of felony sodomy, and two counts of felony sexual abuse; and

An El Salvadoran national who is currently facing criminal charges for felony strangulation.

Simultaneously, left-wing Democrats are pushing their “Abolish ICE” agenda. A major part of their reasoning seems to be the recent crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border involving children being separated from their parents when said parents enter the U.S. without permission.

One of those clearly advocating for ending ICE is U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y. On June 28, she tweeted: “I believe we need to protect families who need help, and ICE isn’t doing that. It has become a deportation force. We need to separate immigration issues from criminal justice. We need to abolish ICE, start over and build something that actually works.”

It should be noted that child protective services workers across the U.S. regularly remove children from their parents’ custody when said parents are accused of a crime.

Nevertheless, during a Sunday panel discussion in New York City, Gillibrand reinforced her position.

“When we flip the House and flip the Senate, I think the first thing we should do is deal with the children who are being separated from their families at the border. I think we should get rid of ICE,” multiple published reports quote her as saying.

Gillibrand is among several prominent Democrats reportedly considering a run for the party’s 2020 presidential nomination. Not to be outdone by Gillibrand is fellow 2020 presidential hopeful, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.

“(President Donald Trump’s) deeply immoral actions have made it obvious we need to rebuild our immigration system from top to bottom starting by replacing ICE with something that reflects our morality and that works,” Warren said during a recent rally in Boston.

We disagree with Gillibrand and Warren. It is, at best, misguided for elected officials to blame the nation’s ongoing immigration problems on members of law enforcement.

We urge U.S. Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan, along with U.S. Reps. Annie Kuster and Carol Shea-Porter, all Democrats from New Hampshire, to reject calls from their party’s left wing to join the “Abolish ICE” crowd.