Here’s my full column that ran in the Washington County Daily News yesterday.
In an effort to whip up emotions for the midterm elections and drive racial divisions in America, the Democrats have allied themselves with the radical open borders fringe groups to call for the abolition of the Immigration and Customer Enforcement agency. While such a movement has very serious implications, it resulted in a comical exposition of hypocrisy and rank opportunism for a Wisconsin politician.
ICE is a massive federal agency with two central charters. The first is to enforce the nation’s immigration laws in the interior of the country. Customs and Border Protection is responsible for enforcing the nation’s borders, but once immigrants, illegal or otherwise, are inside, it is the responsibility of ICE to identify, apprehend and deport people who are illegally residing in the United States.
The second mission for ICE is to investigate activities that occur as a result of people illegally moving people and goods across America’s borders. This includes human trafficking, terrorism, drug smuggling, gang activities, cybercrimes, child exploitation, money laundering, the theft of intellectual property and the like.
When the Democrats talk about abolishing ICE, they are not talking about replacing it with another agency. They are talking about abandoning the enforcement of our nation’s immigration laws and just allowing anyone who makes it past the gauntlet of the border to just stay in America. Unable to muster the political power to change our immigration laws, some Democrats are seeking to negate the law by abolishing the agency tasked with enforcing that law.
When one considers how much ICE does for our nation, one realizes that abolishing the agency and abandoning its missions would unleash a wave of mayhem. According to ICE’s 2017 figures, the agency arrested 4,818 gang members including 796 from the evil MS-13 gang, rescued 904 children from exploitation, rescued 518 human trafficking victims, seized 6,967 pounds of heroin and 2,370 pounds of fentanyl, made 32,958 criminal arrests, and so much more.
When it comes to deportations, ICE, on orders from President Donald Trump, focused its resources heavily on deporting illegal aliens who had committed crimes. More than 89 percent of all illegal aliens deported by ICE in 2017 had either been convicted of a crime or had criminal charges pending. The largest percentage of crimes committed by deportees included drunk driving, drugs and assault. If ICE had not enforced our laws, all of those criminals would still be in America and if there is one thing we know about criminals, it is that they rarely stop committing crimes of their own accord.
All of this brings us to the hilarious theatrics of Wisconsin’s Congressman Mark Pocan. Hailing from the comfortably safe liberal District centered on Dane County, Pocan authored a bill to fulfill the fantasies of the radicals and abolish ICE. Under Pocan’s plan, the criminal functions of ICE would move to other agencies, but the enforcement of immigration laws would cease. Pocan apparently forgot he could write bills to change the immigration laws and instead opted for the anarchy of laws without an enforcement arm instead.
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, from the neighboring Wisconsin Congressional District, obliged Congressman Pocan’s effort and announced he would bring Pocan’s bill to abolish ICE to the floor. Despite the fact that Pocan is a member of the minority party, Ryan and the Republican leadership decided to call the vote and let the chips fall where they may.
As a member of the minority party in the Congress, Congressman Pocan intended his bill to be political posturing to feed the anger of the radical Left for the election. He never actually intended for it to be voted upon. Stoking the fires of hatred before an election is far more important to Pocan than serious immigration reform. With his bluff called and his shameless charade on display for the world to see, Pocan immediately called “foul” and said that he would vote against his own bill.
When people complain about the divisive state of political discourse in our nation, it is politicians like Congressman Pocan who is responsible. Instead of using the office entrusted to him by his constituents to work for rational immigration reforms, he chose to author a bill that even he would not support for the purpose of fueling rage before an election. Wisconsin, and the dedicated public servants of ICE, deserve better.