Kamala Harris faced criticism after she didn’t call for the abolition of the agency during an interview.
The Democrats are desperate, aren’t they? Reports have surfaced the past few days that say liberals have started to pressure Democrats to use the removal of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) as a campaign point for the 2020 election.
The Daily Caller pointed out last Friday the idea came from Brian Fallon, the spokesman for failed Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s campaign, back in January.
ICE operates as an unaccountable deportation force. Dems running in 2020 should campaign on ending the agency in its current form. https://t.co/hnK9LpPojV
— Brian Fallon (@brianefallon) January 21, 2018
The prospective campaign talking point really picked up last week after MSNBC host Chris Hayes asked Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), someone who has been propped up as a possible 2020 candidate, if America should have ICE. She responded that “ICE has a purpose, ICE has a role, ICE should exist.”
That did not sit well with the left. From Fox News:
“Kamala Harris is very likely running for president in 2020,” Jack Mirkinson of the liberal Splinter website wrote. “It should be a political problem for her that she is not willing to take her criticisms of ICE to their logical conclusion and call for its abolition.”
He added: “She should be asked, over and over again, why exactly she is willing to uphold the legitimacy of such a racist, corrupt, and thuggish organization.”
Mirkinson wrote that other potential candidates — like Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti — “should be asked the same question.”
A day after the interview, Hayes tweeted out an article about eliminating ICE:
This is a growing position on the left, and I imagine 2020 Democratic presidential aspirants will have to grapple with it https://t.co/GOuoLnBHWG
— Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) March 9, 2018
Sam McElwee, the author, claimed that “[A] mass-deportation strike force is incompatible with democracy and human rights.” He wrote (emphasis mine):
The call to abolish ICE is, above all, a demand for the Democratic Party to begin seriously resisting an unbridled white-supremacist surveillance state that it had a hand in creating. Though the party has moved left on core issues from reproductive rights to single-payer health care, it’s time for progressives to put forward a demand that deportation be taken not as the norm but rather as a disturbing indicator of authoritarianism.
White supremacy can no longer be the center of the immigration debate. Democrats have voted to fully fund ICE with limited fanfare, because in the American immigration discussion, the right-wing position is the center and the left has no voice. There has been disturbing word fatigue around “mass deportation,” and the threat of deportation is so often taken lightly that many have lost the ability to conceptualize what it means. Next to death, being stripped from your home, family, and community is the worst fate that can be inflicted on a human, as many societies practicing banishment have recognized. It’s time to rein in the greatest threat we face: an unaccountable strike force executing a campaign of ethnic cleansing.
Someone hand McElwee a dictionary. To equate ethnic cleansing and deportation is beyond insane because ICE is NOT rounding up people based on their ethnicity and murdering them. White Supremacy? So I guess the legal immigrants that ICE is not touching don’t matter then, eh?
There’s no doubt ICE should face some reforms, but if the Democrats want voters to take them seriously, please do not put deportations on the same level as ethnic cleansing.
ICE Director Tom Homan told Fox News that Democrats have stretched the truth when it comes to his agency, especially after the Oakland mayor tipped off her city that ICE planned some raids. Harris supported the mayor and accused the agency “of potentially abusing its power by going after illegal immigrants who do not pose a public safety threat to the community.” Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) called it “unjust and cruel.”
From Fox News:
Homan said Harris’ arguments are factually inaccurate. He said he has invited Harris and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) to several meetings in recent months to explain the enforcement operations and each time the senators have cancelled.
“Nine out of every 10 aliens we arrested [in the last fiscal year] did have a criminal history. … They don’t want to know the facts. They want to keep playing this political game and put smoke and mirrors up about what ICE is actually doing,” he said on “Fox & Friends.”
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