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ICE: A Debate Over Justification

Is+ICE+helping+or+hurting+our+society%3F+%28Meiko+M.+Jaimes+%2F+for+Lincoln+Lion+Tales%29
Is ICE helping or hurting our society? (Meiko M. Jaimes / for Lincoln Lion Tales)

Is ICE helping or hurting our society? (Meiko M. Jaimes / for Lincoln Lion Tales)

Is ICE helping or hurting our society? (Meiko M. Jaimes / for Lincoln Lion Tales)

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Families everywhere in America are being ripped apart; “For as long as the Perez children can remember, their father has told them, ‘ be prepared to be alone.’” 17-year-old high school student,worries that her family may soon be torn apart if rumors of possible Bay Area immigration raids by the ICE come true; in Napa, California a teen girl named isabel who watched in tears as her father was taken away, “I cried. I got very emotional, I was really sad,” said Isabel. “I mean to watch someone who is part of your everyday life and then you just have to watch him leave without saying goodbye. It kind of hurts.” Isabel’s mother Elena also adds on “This is our home. This is his home too,” said Elena. “So the fact that they took someone off like that. I don’t see the sense in it all. He wasn’t a danger to the community in any way.”

What the ICE Does
The ICE or Immigration and Customs Enforcement is one of the U.S. federal agencies. They deal with immigration, illegal movement of people and goods, and the prevention of terrorism. In their website, it says, “ICE’S mission is to protect America from the cross-border crime and illegal immigration that threaten national security and public safety.” Immigration is one of their largest fields that ICE has to deal with and majority of the work takes place in the interior of the country’s boundaries. Multiple programs help ICE focus and improve on stated priorities to find and remove illegal aliens who are criminals, fugitives or recent arrivals. Immigration enforcement involves cracking down on those who produce fraudulent documents to enable unlawful activity. Additionally, several robust efforts seek to continue improving the safe and humane detention and removal of persons subject to those actions.

ICE special agents, officers, and attorneys enforce a wide range of approximately 400 laws. These laws reflect on a massive amount of offices, programs, and projects that make up what ICE is today. In ICE’s website, it states, “Illegal trade, in a very general sense, predominantly involve guns, money and drugs, but ICE’s responsibilities extend much further into all kinds of illegal and counterfeit merchandise coming into the country. For instance, ICE’s responsibilities include the repatriation of cultural treasures out of the country to original owners abroad, and combating the trade of child pornography and much more.” ICE prevents people from being smuggled and trafficked into the US, while children in their own homes are being sexually abused and exploited.

Many ICE offices and programs have a role in preventing terrorism, but several are on the front-lines doing their duty in preventing a large scale terrorist attack waiting to happen. In ICE’s website, it claims, “… either identifying dangerous persons before they enter the U.S. or finding them as they violate immigration or customs laws. ICE also works to prevent the illegal export of U.S. technology that could be used or repurposed to do harm.” These are all the acts and occupations of ICE that they have to deal with on a day-to-day basis.

The Debate
When it comes to the ICE, most of the debate boils down to whether their actions are or are not justified. According to the Washington Post arrests of criminally convicted immigrants has increased to 105,736 people, “a small increase” compared to before Trump took office. While this may seem like bad news according to the over two-times increase of immigrants arrested without criminal conviction, that being 37,734 people within the 2017 fiscal year, there is also the fact that the ICE states that they are facing much higher resistance from the state and local government who are against the Trump administration’s policies, causing certain immigrant arrest stories to blow out of proportion.

However, this doesn’t mean that the ICE is perfectly justified. This just raises the question of whether in ICE’s case does the end justify the means. Plenty of stories, including the Perez family, explain or express the plight of those affected by the immigrant crackdown. One of these stories is Jesus Berrones, age 30, who according the azcentral, took refuge inside of a church in Phoenix in order to continue to care for his five-year-old son, who was battling leukemia, or blood cancer. Due to churches being a place considered sensitive by the ICE due to an Obama era policy created in 2011, they did not perform an arrest. After 3 days and massive media attention, the ICE granted Berrones an only 1-year stay of removal, giving him another year to live in the country. These kind of stories raises the question of whether churches and other facilities should or shouldn’t protect illegal or undocumented immigrants, and whether the ICE should or shouldn’t have given the parent more time to help his son. Either way, there’s a sufficient amount of stories for both sides of the debate to work with.

Misconceptions
There is many drastic point of view about the United States immigration and Customs Enforcement, ICE. ICE’s deputy director Thomas D. Homan has made an email stating.”The raids will send a strong message to U.S. businesses that hire and employ an illegal workforce: ICE will enforce the law, and if you are found to be breaking the law, you will be held accountable.” But in a article by CityLab,they say, “The main purpose of raids like these appears to be to instill fear in undocumented workers by communicating that they are in danger of being deported if they show up to their jobs.” The community has also mis interpreted what ICE is up to many believe that ICE is trying to “separate families.” Yet they focus mostly on immigrants with criminal records, they don’t specifically target immigrants families, they focus on taking immigrants that can be a threat to people not innocent immigrants trying to make a living in the united states.

Many believe that the number of immigrants coming to the US is increasing, but in a article by NAFSA they say,”According to a July 2011 report by the Pew Hispanic Center, the number of Mexicans entering the United States has plummeted by 60% between 2006 and 2010.” And they also say,”Nearly 70% of Americans believe that undocumented immigrants who have been in the United States for a period of years and have contributed to their communities should have options to legalize their status.” There is also believe that border patrol is only used to stop immigrants from crossing the border. Yet thats is not true the main use for border patrol is to stop the illegal transportation of drugs and weapons to the US not to stop the immigrants from coming to the US.

Potential Solutions
As the nation debates the issue of immigration and ICE, there are people who are have mixed views on this topic, some people agree that undocumented immigrants should be arrested and deported back to their country but there is the other half where they think that it is unfair and cruel. One possible solution is President Trump’s latest proposal, which would create a path to citizenship for 1.8 million young undocumented immigrants, known as “Dreamers,” who were brought to the country illegally as children. That’s nearly double the number who were protected under the Obama administration, but Trump’s plan would strictly limit families from bringing relatives — other than spouses or children — to the U.S. and end the visa lottery system. It also would beef up immigration enforcement and set aside $25 billion for a border wall. The only practical solution to illegal immigration is earned legalization for those who are already living and working here, and expanded opportunities for the legal entry of future workers. Legalization will enhance our security by bringing people out of the shadows. We would know who is here, and the legalized immigrants would have more incentive to cooperate with law enforcement.Those with real criminal records or any connection to terrorism could be more likely to stand out and would be a subject to prosecution and deportation.

Sources:

NBC. “Family Heartbroken After Napa Man Arrested By ICE Agents.” CBS San Francisco.
February 25,2018.

“Path to Citizenship for Undocumented Immigrants.” US Citizenship

Canon, Dan. “I Tried to Represent an Undocumented Man Rounded Up by ICE. I Couldn’t Even
Find Him.” Slate Magazine, April 2, 2017.

Planas, Roque. “ICE Chief Will ‘Never Back Down’ From Telling Undocumented Immigrants To Be
Afraid.” The Huffington Post, TheHuffingtonPost.com, January 31, 2018.

González, Daniel. “Can ICE Arrest Undocumented Immigrants Living in Sanctuary Churches?”
Azcentral, The Republic | Azcentral.com, February 17, 2018.

Miroff, Nick, and Maria Sacchetti. “Trump Takes ‘Shackles’ off ICE, Which Is Slapping Them on
Immigrants Who Thought They Were Safe.” The Washington Post, WP Company, February 11, 2018.

ICE. “What We Do.” ICE, 2003.

Sulek, Julia Prodis. “Fearing ICE Raids, San Jose Father Tells Children: ‘Be Prepared to Be
Alone’.” The Mercury News, The Mercury News, January 29, 2018.

Alastair Boone, Tanvi Mistra. “Immigration Raids, Coming to a Store Near You.” CityLab, January
19, 2018.

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ICE: A Debate Over Justification