By Brady Shields
The Nation recently published an article titled: It’s time to Abolish ICE. This has led to a national movement to Abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Some candidates for Congress have endorsed the abolition of ICE and have promised to introduce and support legislation that would defund or deny funding, along with abolishing ICE. After all, ICE can be seen as a federally-funded terrorist organization, since they separates families, runs their detention centers like concentration camps, and conducts racially-motivated raids. There is also a case for abolishing borders- not necessarily all borders-but at least abolishing the militarization of borders. Demilitarizing borders could allow people to exercise their rights to freedom of movement and achieve their full potential. However, the abolition of ICE and borders must be approached in a pragmatic matter.
After the article was published, Alison Hartson, who is a candidate for US Senate in California and is a member of the Justice Democrats, expressed her support for abolishing and defunding the agency in a Facebook Post linking to the article. Soon after, other congressional candidates endorsed by the Justice Democrats expressed support for abolishing ICE, including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (New York) and Randy Bryce (Wisconsin). It is evident that there is support to abolish ICE. Bryce stated that ICE should be abolished, and a new, improved agency should be created within another agency. An agency such as the FBI or the US Marshalls could manage an office that would specifically target drug traffickers, violent criminals, felons, and gang associates, the people who ICE says they are targeting. ICE has said that they are targeting “felons, not families”. However, residing, studying, working, or travelling in the United States peaceably without a visa is only a slight legal violation. Other examples of slight legal violations include driving ten miles above the speed limit, parking without a permit, jaywalking, and failing to stop at a red traffic light. Violations alone do not warrant jail time, thus they do not warrant deportation. ICE is deporting families and harmless people. Due to the legal status of unpermitted immigration, it is only fair to have an agency that would deport “felons, not families”. Such an agency would find and deport those who are non-citizen felons. Therefore, abolishing ICE and replacing with a smaller, efficient, practical, and more humane agency would be a pragmatic approach to abolishing ICE.
One of the main reasons that many people are in the United States without a visa is due to the fact that the southern border is highly militarized. Those seeking refuge from violence in Central America and Mexico are forced to endure an intimidating and lengthy process. This leads to many being denied refugee status and forced to cross the border without a visa. However, the current state of the southern border is one of militarization and cruelty. When immigrants are forced to cross a militarized border without the process of a port of entry, they face the possibility of being killed by border patrol agents or dying from starvation and dehydration. A video surfaced of border patrol agents destroying jugs of water left by humanitarian groups for refugees crossing the border. This is the result of a militarized border. A militarized border is unnecessary between two nations at peace, and it restricts the rights of people to move freely without causing violence or disrupting the peace. If borders are demilitarized, we will create a more peaceful and less divisive world.
Thus, a pragmatic approach to abolishing ICE and borders must be practiced in order to create a more just, happy, secure, and cooperative world. Before we divided people up and became avid nationalists, there were no borders, walls, fences, immigration laws, border agents, or immigration agents. There was one planet where people were free to move. However, we view public property as privately owned, and we view people with permission to reside on private property as “aliens”. This dehumanization must end, the borders must be demilitarized, and ICE must be abolished.