8 Reasons ICE Should Be Abolished

The power and latitude of Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents under the Trump administration has grown exponentially in the last 18 months. In fact, President Donald Trump has essentially tapped ICE officials as his special force to harass and harm refugees, undocumented migrants, and their families and neighbors. Now, the agency is simply out of control, posing a far greater danger to the public than the GOP believes immigrants do.

It becomes clearer every day that ICE must be abolished. Here are eight reasons why that is necessary:

1. They’re separating families — and children are going missing.

We have known for months that ICE agents are separating family members and putting them in different facilities — primarily to deter future refugees from trying to enter the country. But we didn’t know that when it comes to the children, ICE agents are simply letting hundreds of them disappear into potential child labor — or even sex trafficking — circles.

At the end of April, the New York Times reported:

A top official with the Department of Health and Human Services told members of Congress on Thursday that the agency had lost track of nearly 1,500 migrant children it placed with sponsors in the United States, raising concerns they could end up in the hands of human traffickers or be used as laborers by people posing as relatives.

The official, Steven Wagner, the acting assistant secretary of the agency’s Administration for Children and Families, disclosed during testimony before a Senate homeland security subcommittee that the agency had learned of the missing children after placing calls to the people who took responsibility for them when they were released from government custody.

The catch-22? Parents are separated from their children and deported back to their home countries. But if they try to return to the U.S. to find their children, they’re jailed.

2. They’re refusing to protect people who would be harmed in their home countries because of their sexual orientation.

According to the ACLU, Jose “Ivan” Noe Nuñez Martinez fled Mexico in fear of his life after a friend was murdered for being gay. Martinez briefly returned to Mexico to visit an ailing parent but otherwise spent 17 years in the U.S. Yet despite marrying a US. citizen and trying to establish his own permanent residency, he ended up indefinitely detained by ICE.

The ACLU reports:

To ensure their continued life together in the United States, [husband Paul Frame], a U.S. citizen, began the process of trying to sponsor Ivan to become a permanent resident. On Jan. 31, 2018, he and Ivan attended what they thought would be a routine marriage interview at an office of U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services in Philadelphia. It was anything but routine. Agents of Immigration & Customs Enforcement entered the office mid-interview and arrested Ivan, shocking and horrifying both him and Paul.

Since Jan. 31, Ivan has been locked up by ICE at a prison facility in York, Pennsylvania. He has been given no opportunity to explain to an immigration judge why his confinement is unnecessary. Ivan doesn’t understand why ICE is imprisoning him. Neither does Paul or anyone else who knows Ivan.”

3. They’re making schools unsafe for children.

Unlike offices and other work spaces – which are apparently fair game – schools are supposed to be a safe haven from deportation fears. But Education Secretary Betsy DeVos wants to take that one safe space away from school children by encouraging schools to call ICE if they suspect that students’ parents are undocumented. It’s a stance that flies in the face of the Supreme Court case Plyler v. Doe, which says all students have the right to a free public education — whether they’re in the country legally or not.

4. They’re spying on everyone in the name of immigration enforcement.

Do you drive? ICE may be reading your license plate to see if you are undocumented. The Verge reports:

In January, The Verge revealed a new contract that gave Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) access to a nationwide network of license plate readers maintained by Vigilant Solutions. The contract put a powerful surveillance tool to work specifically for immigration cases, raising troubling implications for immigration and privacy groups. Those groups have been pushing for more data on the program ever since, and now, one of them is taking ICE to court.

5. They’re killing immigrants under suspicious circumstances.

ICE agents in Texas fatally shot and killed a 20-year-old woman, who they claimed threatened them with a “blunt object.” But after a witness to the event said no such objects were used, and countered other parts of the story, ICE cancelled their press conference and went silent.

6. They’re mistreating those who come to visit detainees.

Their abuse isn’t just against those in detention centers, either. Visitors are complaining of brutal heat, no seating or restrooms and other horrible conditions that they suffer through in order to see their loved ones who have been detained.

According to Newsweek:

Miramar [Florida] city commission recently passed a resolution demanding that ICE stop mistreating people on the property. The resolution states that the city is disappointed with the “alleged ill treatment of persons visiting the facility, including lack of restroom facilities, shelter from the elements and adequate sitting and waiting areas.”

When one activist tried to film these conditions to expose them to the public, that individual was threatened with detainment, too.

7. They’re destroying their own records.

Although it’s clear that ICE is responsible for numerous human abuses, the office continues to obstruct any attempts to hold officials accountable for their actions.

The ACLU reports:

ICE has asked for permission to begin routinely destroying 11 kinds of records, including those related to sexual assaults, solitary confinement and even deaths of people in its custody. Other records subject to destruction include alternatives to detention programs, regular detention monitoring reports, logs about the people detained in ICE facilities, and communications from the public reporting detention abuses. ICE proposed various timelines for the destruction of these records ranging from 20 years for sexual assault and death records to three years for reports about solitary confinement.

8. They’re enabling abusers and racists outside of the system.

ICE agents now have so much power that non-agents are impersonating them to fulfill their own racist, anti-immigrant fantasies.

The agency reports:

Throughout 2017, [Matthew Ryan] Johnston used fake ICE badges and uniforms to falsely represent himself as an ICE agent to unsuspecting members of the public. On one occasion, Johnston used unauthorized red and blue police lights to chase another car, causing a traffic collision. On another, Johnston’s ex-girlfriend accidentally activated the red and blue police lights in Johnston’s car. When she was pulled over by an SBSD detective, Johnston pretended to be an ICE agent while on the phone with the SBSD detective at the scene. Johnston went further in his impersonation of an ICE agent when he took a report from an individual about a potential undocumented person, and he falsely identified himself as an ICE agent to various employees and patrons at the Déjà Vu Showgirls club in Industry, Calif.

Johnston was eventually arrested with a cache of unregistered guns and explosive devices.

Take Action!

Urge the Trump administration to abolish ICE by signing this Care2 petition.

Creating a Care2 petition is easy. If you have an issue you care deeply about, why not start your own petition? Here are some guidelines to help you get started and soon the Care2 community will be signing up to support you.


Photo Credit: Annette Bernhardt/Flickr


Marie W
Marie W4 months ago

Thanks for this post

Eric Lees
Eric Lees10 months ago

@Gene J
""there is darkness in America"

Yes, and it's name is Trump, with full complicity by the once patriotic and literate republican party. Their deafening silence on the excesses and criminality of the trump administration is disgusting. They have proven they are incapable of leadership since taking control of Congress in 2010, each succeeding Congress has been lower rated than the one before it. America needs an awakening and I believe that begins this coming November."

Gene your old enough to know that it did not start with Trump. Trump is just the accumulation of decades of decline. We would likely be no better off with Hillary given all her issues. The Democrats of course have their own issues as well. At least with the Republicans there is an internal struggle over the direction of the party. What happened to the progressive faction within the Democrats?

If we continue down this path the Republic will fail. We the people must change.

Leo C
Leo Custer10 months ago

Thank you for sharing!

Janis K
Janis K10 months ago

Agree with Gene J - great comment!

Brian F
Brian F10 months ago

The Democrats who cheated Bernie Sanders out of his primary, lied about the Nevada convention, forced this crook Hillary on us, and caused this crook Trump to win, need to be sent to prison. Bernie Sanders is the most popular politician in the country, which is why the corrupt Democrats will never allow him to have any power. The Democrats are so corrupt, they would rather lose to a Republican crook like Trump, than win with an honest progressive like Bernie Sanders.

Gene J
Gene J10 months ago

"there is darkness in America"

Yes, and it's name is Trump, with full complicity by the once patriotic and literate republican party. Their deafening silence on the excesses and criminality of the trump administration is disgusting. They have proven they are incapable of leadership since taking control of Congress in 2010, each succeeding Congress has been lower rated than the one before it. America needs an awakening and I believe that begins this coming November.

Liliana Garcia
Liliana Garcia10 months ago

some people need to get the figures right instead of using population size as a mantra:
Fertility rate per woman: US 2.1 China 1.6 UK 1.94 Canada 1.68
Of course fewer children can be better attended but the main problem is the way earth's resources are being used and the extremely unbalanced distribution of wealth accrued by the use of the resources.
The eight reasons are quite good but a little history would help too. Back in he 60's US intelligence agencies accused Cuba of executing a so called OPERATION PETER PAN in which children were forcibly shipped to the former USSR to be brainwashed. All this was false. When Elian Gonzalez arrived as a small child as a refugee US held a long diplomatic war with Elian's surviving parent in Cuba who claimed him after he learned the child had been surreptitiously taken by his mother and her boyfriend on a boat headed to Florida. The boat capsized and Elian was the sole survivor. This diplomatic tug of war lasted many months. The issue here is that US Govt has always decided what's best and taking children away from parents is not new. When US invaded Puerto Rico a number of our children were shipped to US schools which were basically concentration camps. Family has never been a value when it comes to imperialism interests. It's just that large number of people in the US has been untouched so far by these dispositions.

Julia R
Julia R10 months ago

Not only do they need to be abolished but Trump needs to be ousted because otherwise this agency will continue it’s ignoble and persecution of immigrants! It is shameful and reflects so poorly on the US! Whatever happened to our moral leadership and our cherished values as citizens. Are we going to let a very misguided president and his administration act like dictators and abuse their power! It is high time to protest and take meaningful action by supporting candidates and a party who really cares about people and acts with honor, responsibility, and respect for our ideals as values as a united Nation once more not a hateful and divided one!

Janis K
Janis K10 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

Dot A
Dot A10 months ago

What was once a place of human admiration, is now a country of abomination and hatefulness. Roseanne Barr's comment just the other day is the example of what far too many of the US citizens now feel is an appropriate thing to say, because we have allowed our president to voice similar words of disgust, vile thinking, and just plain old hate. Our nation has a serious blight of hate upon it, because we have honored the " $ " over the struggles of our own species, not to mention the atrocious actions upon this world's creatures. Shame on the US! We once had a clue about a new world of peace. Now we allow Russian tampering and hardly give it a care. The youth of today are taught that 'that's the way it's always been!' - but, the US once voiced a people of higher ambitions towards the good of All. We need to pick ourselves back up, and carry on with the nobility that this nation inspired, through all the imperfections, we once believed it was possible. I believe it is still possible. I think many of you do, as well. First believe, then speak up, and then live it. Do not ever give up. Live for something good, right, and meaningful. $ - isn't it!!!