As a growing number of Democrats and their allies call for abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), it’s important to remember that the overwhelming majority of illegal immigrants arrested by the agency have criminal convictions.
In 2017 immigrants with criminal convictions accounted for 74% of all arrests made by ICE, according to government data used by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center in a study published earlier this year. Sixteen percent of those arrested by ICE had pending criminal charges and only 11 % had no known criminal convictions or charges, the Pew analysis found.
Nearly 60,000 illegal aliens deported by ICE last year were convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol and another 57,438 for possessing or selling dangerous drugs such as opioids. More than 52,000 ICE arrestees were convicted of immigration offenses, including false claim to American citizenship and tens of thousands had pending criminal charges for assault, driving under the influence and a variety of other crimes.
Some had pending charges for more violent crimes like sexual assault, kidnapping and homicide. Los Angeles, an illegal alien sanctuary city, topped the list with nearly nine out of 10 ICE arrests consisting of immigrants with criminal convictions. Newark, New Jersey had the lowest number with 60% criminal arrests but every region had one thing in common: “In all ICE areas, considerable majorities of arrests were for those with prior convictions,” the Pew study says.
The figures make the calls to abolish ICE, the 20,000-employee Homeland Security agency, preposterous. The growing movement includes elected officials—some presidential contenders—at the federal, state and local level as well as those running for office. Among them are senators Elizabeth Warren (Massachusetts), Kamala Harris (California) and Kirsten Gillibrand (New York).
Warren and Harris are reportedly making White House runs in 2020. Other federal lawmakers calling for the dismantling of ICE include Wisconsin Congressman Mark Pocan and Massachusetts Congressman Mike Capuano. In a piece published by a mainstream media outlet, a law professor running for New York Attorney General writes that ICE is a “tool of cruelty and lawlessness and dehumanization.” The agency was born in xenophobia and fear, the lawyer asserts, and it is doing exactly what it was designed to do: “Terrorize immigrant communities, bring a police state inside our borders and treat people as less than human.”
Not surprisingly, the mainstream media appears to support the abolish ICE movement and has demonstrated it with biased reporting as well as the promotion of radical leftist ideas such as those published by the New York Attorney General candidate. A mainstream national newspaper writes that the nation doesn’t need ICE and refers to it as an “agency that harms Latino and immigrant communities.”
A northern California newspaper blames the Trump administration’s “hardline immigration policies” for transforming the idea of abolishing ICE from a pipe dream for liberal activists to a legitimate political issue. The article refers to abolish ICE as a movement that has seen a “remarkable rise from fringe issue to Democratic rallying cry.” A multitude of media outlets around the country have followed suit, shamelessly displaying their pom poms for the insane abolish ICE movement.
The reality is that ICE needs to be strengthened because the agency is overwhelmed, officers can’t keep up with monstrous workloads and repeatedly lose track of hardcore criminals inside the United States. As a result hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens with criminal records are getting released by local authorities in the U.S., according to a federal audit released last year by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Inspector General.
A surge in illegal immigrants under the Obama administration pushed matters into crisis mode with deportation officers so overworked that they often lose track of dangerous illegal aliens with serious criminal histories, the probe found. This includes individuals who represent critical national security threats. One ICE agent cited in the report said this: “You might work 18 hours a day, but you still won’t get caught up.”
Inspectors visited four key field offices and determined that the management deficiencies and unresolved obstacles make it difficult for the feds to deport aliens expeditiously. “ICE is almost certainly not deporting all the aliens who could be deported and will likely not be able to keep up with growing numbers of deportable aliens,” the DHS watchdog found.