Despite broad consensus across the political spectrum that our immigration system is broken and dysfunctional, immigration policy is perhaps the most polarizing issue in American politics today. Immigration rhetoric has become so heated that the very existence of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has become an open topic of mainstream political dialogue. But as long as our nation has immigration laws, we will need an agency to enforce them. We will need ICE. And regardless of one’s views on immigration policy, all Americans interested in our government operating effectively should support ICE having a Senate-confirmed director.
Although immigration enforcement had been a controversial and highly partisan topic for decades, existential hostility to ICE has only recently entered the political mainstream. Over the past year, calls to “abolish ICE” have become a convenient rhetorical shortcut for those wishing to express opposition to the Trump administration’s immigration enforcement policies.
Robert C. Bonner is a member of the Pacific Council on International Policy GTMO Task Force, a former U.S. District Judge, DEA Administrator, Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and is a senior principal at Sentinel HS Group.
The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily relfect the official policy or position of the Pacific Council.