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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 6/26/18

After Witnessing Trump's Border Crisis, Congressman Mark Pocan Proposes to Abolish ICE

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From The Nation

He joins a growing movement to disband the agency.

Congressman Mark Pocan
Congressman Mark Pocan
(Image by YouTube, Channel: Thom Hartmann Program)
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Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chair Mark Pocan (D-WI) traveled to the southern border last week and witnessed firsthand the humanitarian crisis that was unfolding, as federal authorities carried out President Trump's brutally unjust and irresponsible anti-immigrant policies. He saw what was happening on the ground, at a moment when families were being separated and children were caged. While Trump has since dialed back some (though certainly not all) of his orders, the congressman wants to see a much bigger change in how the government enforces immigration policy.

The experience of visiting the border, and his consultation with advocates for reform, has led Pocan to conclude that it is time to abolish the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency.

"During my trip to the southern border, it was clear that ICE, and its actions of hunting down and tearing apart families, has wreaked havoc on far too many people," Pocan explained this week. "From conducting raids at garden centers and meatpacking plants, to breaking up families at churches and schools, ICE is tearing apart families and ripping at the moral fabric of our nation. Unfortunately, President Trump and his team of white nationalists, including Stephen Miller, have so misused ICE that the agency can no longer accomplish its goals effectively."

With this in mind, the congressman announced that "I'm introducing legislation that would abolish ICE and crack down on the agency's blanket directive to target and round up individuals and families. The heartless actions of this abused agency do not represent the values of our nation and the U.S. must develop a more humane immigration system, one that treats every person with dignity and respect."

Pocan is not alone in his determination that ICE has to go. Congressmen Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Jim McGovern (D-MA) have endorsed its abolition, as has Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (D-WA). A number of congressional candidates have done the same, echoing calls from activists.

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John Nichols, a pioneering political blogger, has written the Online Beat since 1999. His posts have been circulated internationally, quoted in numerous books and mentioned in debates on the floor of Congress.

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