Sharper Point: What ICE does that immigrant activists should love

Mar 20, 2019, 2:50 PM | Updated: 3:06 pm

Despite some activists (and politicians who should know better) calling for Immigration and Customs Enforcement to be abolished, they should be praising their work. Well, at least the work that, unfortunately, ICE agents find themselves doing less and less of. 

ICE’s field director in Phoenix, Henry Lucero, told KTAR’s Peter Samore that his agents are spending more time processing Central American families – and less time rounding up bad dudes.

“Sometimes I have to divert those resources from looking for dangerous criminals on the streets,” Lucero said in a interview earlier this week. He also said the local ICE office isn’t getting more resources (i.e. more agents) to deal with the new workload. 

Instead of complaining about ICE, activists who claim to be pro-immigrant should start a GoFundMe page to help ICE pay for more agents. But only if they’re truly pro-immigrant and don’t have underlying political motives. 

Lucero says it’s not just affecting ICE. Dealing with all the peaceful, asylum-seeking families also takes away from the Border Patrol’s job of protecting Americans. 

By the way, when I say the Border Patrol is “protecting Americans,” I don’t mean protecting us from cheap labor or a strain on social services. I mean protecting Americans from some of the worst offenders the Western Hemisphere has to offer. 

The Border Patrol just announced Wednesday that in fiscal year 2018, they arrested more than 800 people who were affiliated with gangs. More than half of those arrested were associated with MS-13, the worst of the worst. 

Whether you are for or against the wall, pro-immigrant or anti-illegal immigration, whether you support ICE or carry a handmade neon sign at protest rallies that says “ABOLISH ICE,” we should ALL be behind the idea that we need to expel the truly bad people who are in the country illegally.

The Obama administration got that concept and deported record numbers of people under the idea that we needed to get the criminals — who didn’t belong here in the first place — out of our country. I think most Americans can live with immigration authorities not targeting the people whose only crime is the federal misdemeanor of sneaking over the border but definitely getting those who commit bigger crimes and “getting them the hell outta here!” 

If you claim to be pro-immigrant, you should be pro-anything that makes migrants safer. And the criminals ICE rounds up often target their fellow immigrants. Ask any newly arrived Central Americans if they’d like Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) members living down the street, and the answer would probably be no. 

But conservatives also need to ask themselves how much they support ICE’s work to locate and expel immigrants engaged in criminal activity. And then ask if some of the billions Trump wants for the wall can’t be better spent on more agents and more immigration judges to weed them out — and, of course, to buy buses and planes so we can send those criminal aliens somewhere else. 

Jim Sharpe

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Sharper Point: What ICE does that immigrant activists should love