When we say “abolish ICE,” this is why. Per Mother Jones:
The Trump administration is denying bond to some parents who have been separated from their children and are eligible to apply for asylum, according to two Texas immigration lawyers. The unusual move, which can extend the amount of time the families remain separated, comes just days after a federal judge ordered the Trump administration to quickly reunite separated families.
In an interview with Mother Jones, Austin-based immigration attorney Kate Lincoln-Goldfinch says that by denying bond and forcing migrant parents to remain in detention while they apply for asylum, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement is “completely disobeying the judge’s order—intentionally.” Jodi Goodwin, a south Texas immigration lawyer who is working with separated parents at the Port Isabel detention center, agrees that the bond denials conflict with the recent injunction.
ICE, which stands for Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, was birthed in 2003 along with the vast expansion of the surveillance state in the wake of 9/11. It is part of the new bureaucracy known as the Department of Homeland Security. It is vitally important to highlight this in any discussion of ICE, as America went 227 years without it. Calling to abolish a department whose modus operandi is ethnic cleansing is not a radical position at all. Demanding that we treat a George W. Bush-era program that isn’t even old enough to drive as sacrosanct is far more radical.
Yes, we do need some sort of enforcement mechanism for our immigration policies, but that is not remotely the same as having a mass deportation force. Before ICE existed, we funneled all this stuff through the Department of Justice and the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). Lawyers, not jack-booted thugs barging into hospitals looking for any non-white people to deport, determined if someone’s asylum case was legitimate. It was far from a perfect system, as plenty of DOJ lawyers were incentivized to deny these requests, but we at least told ourselves that we were trying to adhere to the rule of law in an admittedly difficult arena. Now, ICE is essentially justified as something of an American Gestapo.
This is ethnic cleansing. There’s no other way to describe it. ICE’s explicit job is to round up immigrants and remove them—or “cleanse” (white) society of their presence. ICE is so determined to carry out their Final Solution that they are defying court orders to reunite families they separated. Any humane society cannot have this kind of totalitarianism, and it’s quite telling how Republicans have responded. Instead of arguing on the merits of a mass deportation force, they’ve created a boogeyman to try to justify its existence.
Trump and the Republicans need MS-13 to be a legitimate fear in the minds of the populace, despite the fact that 99.999999% of Americans (my rough estimate) will not have their lives affected one bit by this South American gang. MS-13 is a talking point so ICE supporters can justify their support of making America whiter, which is the real goal. America is growing more diverse by the day, and ICE’s explicit job is to stop the American experiment from evolving into the tolerant and law-abiding citizenry that we claim to be. It’s time to abolish ICE.
Jacob Weindling is a staff writer for Paste politics. Follow him on Twitter at @Jakeweindling.