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Cotton Speaks in Support of ICE

July 19, 2018

I'd like to take this opportunity to express my support for the 20,000 men and women of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. They work hard every day to keep drugs off our streets, to stop human trafficking, to protect our communities from gang violence, and yes, to enforce our immigration laws. Theirs can be a thankless job, but they do it with courage, dedication, and professionalism. So I, for one, want to say, thank you. And, I'd like to point out the overwhelming support that House Republicans showed for ICE yesterday, which stands in stark contrast to the contemptible display put on by House Democrats. On a simple resolution, merely expressing support for the men and women of ICE, only 18 Democrats voted yes. Eight skipped the vote, 34 voted no, and 133 Democrats voted present, which is the same thing as no. That's a pretty sad state of affairs. Thirty-four Democrats condemned the men and women of ICE, and 141 don't even have the courage of their conviction, they don't even have the guts to vote yes or no. Because we all know that Democrats, in their heart of hearts, want to abolish ICE.

The way they tell it, ICE is a rogue agency driven by hatred and spite to tear apart communities. Congressman Pocan of Wisconsin says ICE is "ripping at the moral fabric of our nation." Congresswoman Jayapal of Washington says ICE is "out of control." Congressman Blumenauer of Oregon calls ICE "toxic." And the senior senator from Massachusetts says we should replace ICE with "something that reflects our values." Which I suppose means that the 20,000 men and women of ICE don't measure up to the professor's definition of "our values."

But I have to ask: isn't the rule of law one of those values? Because ICE's job is simply to enforce the law and to protect our citizens from crime. In the last year alone, ICE arrested more than 125,000 illegal aliens with criminal records. Those illegal aliens were responsible for more than 80,000 DUIs, 76,000 dangerous drug offenses, 48,000 assaults, 11,000 weapon offenses, 5,000 sexual assaults, 2,000 kidnappings, and 1,800 homicides. Yes that's right, almost 2,000 souls could still be on this Earth but for those illegal alien criminals. ICE's investigative arm also seized more than 980,000 pounds of narcotics last year. These men and women are on the front lines of the war on drugs, and the opioid crisis in particular. Do the Democrats really believe we should put all these efforts on hold?

This call to abolish ICE is so irresponsible that even some Democrats, those not running for president or beholden to the radical left, are speaking out against it. Jeh Johnson, President Obama's former secretary of Homeland Security, has said it's "not a serious policy proposal" and would "compromise public safety." He's pointed out that even those who opposed the Vietnam War wouldn't have demanded that we abolish the Department of Defense. Eric Holder, President Obama's former attorney general, has said, "I don't think that substantively or politically that makes a great deal of sense," calling it a "gift to Republicans." And Sarah Saldana, who ran ICE under President Obama, has called it "nonsensical." But perhaps the most insightful comment came from former senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut. He said, "This makes no sense unless you no longer want any rules on immigration or customs to be enforced."

And that, I would contend, is the whole point. Those who want to abolish ICE really just want open borders. The very bill House Democrats have introduced to abolish ICE doesn't even say which federal agency should assume its critical and law-enforcement duties-they just leave it up to a commission. And the reason, I would submit, is that they don't really care. Their obsession with open borders is so great that they are willing to risk the public safety to achieve it.

These irresponsible politicians should know better. They aren't worthy to lead the brave, hardworking men and women of ICE. These officers are just trying to do their job and to keep us safe. So, on behalf of a grateful nation, I conclude by again extending them my deepest thanks.