November 28, 2022

19 ICE agents just blindsided Trump with unprecedented demand

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President Trump’s transformation of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) into a deportation force to terrorize people of color has sparked a backlash aimed at abolishing the agency from an unlikely source.


ICE is such a totally broken federal agency that 19 of its own regional supervising Special Agents in Charge just sent an open letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen demanding the abolition of their own agency.

They blame President Trump for eroding the Homeland Security Investigative (HSI) division’s public support which is crucial to its mission of enforcing the law against real criminals, transnational criminal organizations, and overseas terrorist groups. They wrote:

ICE is currently led by Acting Director Thomas Homan, the former head of its Enforcement and Removal Operations unit, and he publicly runs the agency like Donald Trump’s baby.

Homan’s agency has spent the last eighteen months deploying Gestapo tactics to terrorize immigrants and people of color in America.

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If people are policy, then it is obvious that Trump’s choice to head the agency – a cruel bully who openly brags about separating families seeking asylum at the border – has harmed America’s national security gravely.

Because HSI draws its funding from the ICE budget, it means that every time Donald Trump decides to abuse children with a zero-tolerance policy to separate families, he is also de-funding America’s most important criminal investigations into groups like the Russian mafia.

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The New York Times reports:

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The more than 6,000 special agents assigned to Homeland Security Investigations focus on money laundering, drug trafficking, human smuggling, child exploitation and cybercrimes.

The agency was also involved in the arrest and capture of drug lord Joaquín Guzmán Loera, better known as “El Chapo, who led the Sinaloa cartel before he was extradited to the United States last year.

In fact, the HSI division has the second highest number of arrests of all federal law enforcement agencies, in 14 international locations for its Transnational Crime Investigation Units.

The movement to abolish ICE began as a reaction to President Trump’s degradation of the agency into a crude deportation force, which is so cruel that just yesterday he boasted about their legendary meanness at one of his hate rallies.

On Tuesday, New York’s Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez upset the 4th ranking House Democrat with the abolition of ICE as one of her top political positions. She proceeded to surprise calcified older political pundits (again) by cogently explaining to CNN exactly why ICE has gone off the rails. Today 19 of America’s top national security officials proved her right.

Tonight, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) endorsed the movement to abolish ICE, which is more than a political idea, but a necessity to protect this country from transnational crime and terrorism, and to create a new agency to deal with immigration enforcement with more safeguards against the illegal tactics that Trump’s lackeys are using to terrorize immigrants.

Grant Stern

Editor at Large

is the Executive Editor of Occupy Democrats and published author. His new Meet the Candidates 2020 book series is distributed by Simon and Schuster. He's also a mortgage broker, community activist and radio personality in Miami, Florida., as well as the producer of the Dworkin Report podcast. Grant is also an occasional contributor to Raw Story, Alternet, and the DC Report, an unpaid senior advisor to the Democratic Coalition, and a Director of Sunshine Agenda Inc. a government transparency nonprofit organization.

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