WHO DOES IMMIGRATION & CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT (I.C.E.) HURT?
WHO DOES IT SERVE?
- Tens of thousands of people with no criminal record whom I.C.E. has deported back to countries where their lives are at risk. In 2003, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), set up to stop terrorists, replaced the Immigration and Naturalization Service, which performed many functions relating to immigration as part of the Justice Department. The enforcement arm of DHS, I.C.E.’s primary mission is to target those who have made it past the border and are living here, in many cases for years.
- The more than 30,000 immigrants detained at any one time in I.C.E.’s detention facilities across the country. Many are denied medical care and are subject to solitary confinement, physical and sexual assault. In 2017, 12 people died in these centers. Despite detainees’ hunger strikes and the demands of advocates, I.C.E. has taken no effective action against these abuses.
- The families and communities of those suffering from the deportation or detention of their co-workers, neighbors, and family members. I.C.E. creates ever-widening circles of terror and loss.
- Asylum seekers fleeing persecution, torture and death. Asylum seekers, even whose claims are deemed credible, are often placed indefinitely in detention without trial or bail. A determination on their asylum cases can take years.
- Asylum seekers who are parents of children threatened by gang violence and political instability, and who seek sanctuary in the United States. Under recent policy enacted by the Trump Administration, I.C.E. incarcerates parents desperate to save their children’s lives and places those already traumatized children into federal custody. I.C.E. was bad under Presidents Bush and Obama, but it did not separate children from parents legally seeking asylum.
- Immigrants from South and Central America and the Caribbean who are deported far more than those from other countries. Also, in 2017, deportations of largely Muslim immigrants from Somalia, Bangladesh, and Pakistan more than doubled. This, along with Trump’s Muslim ban and his rhetoric about rapist Mexicans, “shithole countries,” and “animals” sends a message to people of color that they do not belong.
- The United States’ reputation as a refuge. I.C.E. conducts raids in our schools, courts, and workplaces, spreading fear throughout our institutions. I.C.E.’s brutal treatment of unauthorized immigrants and asylum-seekers flies in the face of the country’s foundation as a home for those fleeing persecution.
- The for-profit prison industry. The majority of I.C.E. detainees are housed in private, for-profit facilities managed by companies including Geo and CoreCivic. These corporations are reporting record-breaking profits, and their contracts include bed quotas: The more people they detain, the more money they make. The Department of Homeland Security pays an estimated $159 per day for each person detained.
- Supporters of President Trump’s campaign promise to establish a “deportation force” merely by “taking the shackles off” the existing I.C.E. apparatus. Since the 2016 election, seizures of undocumented immigrants with no criminal record have more than doubled.
- White nationalists, nativists, and advocates of ethnic cleansing. They want Trump to follow through on his threat to deport millions of non-white immigrants and to ban Muslim immigration.
CALL YOUR REPRESENTATIVE TODAY AND DEMAND THAT THEY DEFUND I.C.E.!
U.S. Capitol Switchboard: (202) 224-3121
To get involved in Rise and Resist’s Abolish I.C.E. campaign, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Read the 10-year plan I.C.E. laid out in 2003, "Endgame," which "sets in motion a cohesive enforcement program with a ten-year time horizon that will build the capacity to 'remove all removable aliens,' eliminate the backlog of unexecuted final order removal cases, and realize its vision."
Who is Profiting from Incarcerating Immigrant Families? Follow the Money. This article from June 2018 digs into the for-profit prison companies cashing in on the detention of asylum seekers and other immigrants (CoreCivic and the GEO Group are the biggest). It also reports on the nonprofits that detain immigrant children (Southwest Key) and the other companies and banks propping up Homeland Security's abuse of power. Even after Trump rescinded the family separation policy, most of these companies expect to keep their "man-days" up by imprisoning entire families.
The Real Alternatives to Detention, Justice For Immigrants
Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, May 23, 2018
Fighting a dehumanizing U.S. immigration system, with Lee Gelernt: podcast & transcript, Why Is This Happening? with Chris Hayes, MSNBC
It’s Time to Abolish ICE by Sean McElwee, The Nation
ICE Deserves to be Abolished by Molly Roberts, The Washington Post
Abolishing ICE is the radical idea America needs to be talking about by Will Bunch, The Philadelphia Inquirer