More than 150 elected officials from across the country – mostly at the state and local levels – have so far signed on to an open letter calling for the abolition of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Twenty five of them are from North Carolina.
The letter lays out the criticisms of the agency and the argument that it harms the communities represented by the officials who have signed on.
In the last two weeks, we have seen countless stories about babies and children being ripped from the arms of their mothers and fathers so that their parents can be funneled, without due process of law, through criminal prosecutions off of which private prison companies stand to make millions of dollars.
While this escalation of policy is particularly devastating and inhumane, it is part of a larger crisis that has been building in our communities for years. The rampant and brutal enforcement tactics of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) a lawless federal agency that, since its creation in 2002, has terrorized immigrants and separated families in the communities we live in and represent. As one of our newest federal agencies, ICE spends more time destroying communities than it does keeping communities safe while violating basic civil and human rights. The experiment that is ICE has failed, and must be ended as soon as possible.
As leaders and elected officials, we are committed to ensuring that our communities have the opportunity to thrive – that means everything from keeping our infrastructure up-to-date and creating good jobs to ensure that our kids get a quality education. Above all else, we are responsible for the safety of people in our communities. Our government should encourage civic and community participation and increase the quality of lives of our residents. The presence of ICE in our neighborhoods, schools, workplaces, places of worship, and homes, makes this impossible.
The letter supports the abolition proposal of Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wisconsin).
This week a Politico/Morning Consult poll found a majority of Americans polled don’t support abolishing ICE – though there is growing support for it among Democrats.
Only 1 in 4 voters in the poll, 25 percent, believe the federal government should get rid of ICE. The majority, 54 percent, think the government should keep ICE. Twenty-one percent of voters are undecided.
But a plurality of Democratic voters do support abolishing ICE, the poll shows. Among Democrats, 43 percent say the government should get rid of ICE, while only 34 percent say it should keep ICE. Majorities of Republicans (79 percent) and independents (54 percent) want the government to keep ICE.
The open letter continues to gather support and is part of a movement that will include public events supporting ICE’s abolition.