by Emily Weatherholt
July 11, 2018
Founded in 2003, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is a subsection of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). ICE was formed as a result of the 2002 Homeland Security Act, which was passed in the wake of the 2001 terrorist attack in an effort to prevent such a tragedy from ever occurring again. Many would argue this policy has been successful, as many subsequent terrorist attacks have been thwarted by DHS, have been smaller in scope, or have been perpetrated by lone-wolf terrorists who were U.S. citizens and not illegal immigrants.
Recently, ICE has come under protest in light of their actions at the U.S. border with Mexico. Under President Trump’s immigration ban, which was recently upheld by the Supreme Court in the case of Trump v. Hawaii, America’s borders are closed to identified countries struggling with social unrest and the rising of terrorist regimes. This ban is not a “Muslim ban,” as many on the Left have called it, but a proactive move by the president to protect America’s borders, while the immigration policy is reworked to ensure American lives are protected. ICE, a government funded agency, is required to follow the executive orders of the president and the ruling of the Supreme Court.
Those who are protesting ICE are berating men and women who have committed to protecting our borders and following the higher decrees of our nation’s leaders at the risk of their own lives. ICE was created not only to enforce border control, but also to prevent human trafficking, smuggling of illegal goods across our border, and to prevent terrorism. Throughout the years, ICE has created alternatives for detention programs, created apps to help prevent child exploitation on the internet and track children that have been abducted by sex trafficking rings, and broken up complex smuggling operations by drug cartels within U.S. borders. In 2017, a group of protestors, assuming ICE was exporting immigrants, demonstrated against ICE while they were arresting a sex-trafficking ring in California.
The current protest against ICE is based on the separation of families at the Texas-Mexico border. While the media is focusing on the separation of families and the injustice this is causing, the media is neglecting to share the reason for the separation. The separation is due to the president’s enforcement of the “zero-tolerance policy” at the border. This policy requires that those who cross the border illegally are subject to criminal charges. While waiting for prosecution for the criminal charges, the parents are placed in prison, certainly no place for children. That is why the families are separated until the children can be sent to relatives or shelters. It’s important to note that family separation occurred under the Obama presidency as well, a fact often ignored by the mainstream media. The practice of separating children from incarcerated parents is common procedure in American law. If a minor’s parents are sent to prison for a criminal offense, then the minor is placed with a relative or in the foster care system. There are also cases when human trafficking rings will pose as families to get the children across the border. In addition, drug rings use children to smuggle drugs over the border because they are less likely to be detained. This is what is happening at the border, but it’s certainly not the story that is being told. The same practice was occurring under previous presidencies, but to a lesser extent, as the president has the right to choose which laws he strictly enforces.
At the border, ICE is responding to possible drug smuggling, human trafficking, and other criminal offenses. ICE is following the laws enforced by the president and the Supreme Court of the U.S. ICE already has an extremely difficult job—the protests of the people whom ICE agents swore to protect are needlessly making their jobs more difficult. Those who are protesting ICE need to realize that when proactive actions are taken, it is hard to measure their success, as the wreckage from the adverted disaster is never felt.