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Why Abolishing ICE Is a Legitimate Option

When you go onto the official website to view the history for U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement, a short paragraph describes its creation in 2003, its separate offices and its annual amount given. It also provides opportunities to read news stories based on ICE agents’ recent arrests and various ways to contact the agency. Public safety should be taken seriously, and America is very much afraid of another 9/11, yet that fear has become unreasonable and cruel.

Last month, a detention center for children separated from parents was visited by the media, and it was described as warehouse like and children are kept inside for all but two hours a day. A few weeks ago, the head of ICE’s enforcement and removal operations stated that the children are given food, water, education and recreational opportunities. Like a summer camp. A summer camp that apparently mentally disturbs its campers so much that when returning to families, children regress socially, act out scenes of handcuffing other people, and are much more different than how their parents last knew them to be. While the reuniting of families is demanded and the quality of the detention centers have been heavily criticized, ICE does not waste time to do more legally questionable actions to maintain an arrest. Such tactics were by informing parents that their children will be right with them, but first they need to be bathed and photographed-lies which instead send parent and child to different detention camps. Recently, local ICE agents worked in Boston to arrest undocumented partners of U.S. citizens requesting legal status. Simply put, undocumented people applying to be legally documented were arrested.

Morally, what ICE and Border Control agents are doing is questionable. The concept of arresting and deporting a person who is stereotyped as a criminal, rapist, thug, or terrorist (all our President’s words) and are not proven to be one, yet still sent away thousands of people is wrong. But legally, they are blatantly unconstitutional. The American Civil Liberties Union points this out, that this goes against unreasonable search and seizure, violates the assurance of a fair trial, and breaks the constitutional rights of due process, and freedom from discrimination due to race, ethnicity, and national origin.

Fortunately, the courts have come to see these cases of detention before them and the media constantly gives stories of the lives of family members who stayed in America and those who were deported. The ACLU has filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration and multiple organizations claiming that those in detention centers in California are not given basic food, health care, and religious freedom. There is another lawsuit filed by the ACLU that claims the separation of parent from child is a practice that needs to end legally. Even immigrants and smaller immigrant-rights groups have filed lawsuits, like the ones in Miami-Dade County who were minors, placed in jail for a minor offense and held there for ICE agents to come and pick them up for detention centers or deportation.

The need for ICE was obvious when the Twin Towers went down. America needed support and protection during a scary time. However, the world has always been scary and at some times cruel, with worse incidences occurring before 9/11. That doesn’t mean that because of past events, America is allowed to bypass its constitutional guarantees and unfairly stereotype and demonize immigrants. There are far greater threats than a family crossing into America, and there is no need to separate them because they came over illegally. Many politicians are bringing forth the idea of abolishing ICE and getting rid of Border Control. It is a topic that deserves to be talked about seriously, because people’s lives are being ruined by a government organization.

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Mia Boccher
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