For years, the open-borders lobby has applauded efforts by successive administrations to selectively ignore whatever parts of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) might offend favored political constituencies. What’s worse, they treated each decision to let a group of immigration violators off-the-hook as though it were an irreversible constitutional mandate, never to be undone by any successive administration.
Meanwhile, most Americans viewed these rule-bending policies as an immigration disaster waiting to happen. And they were right, as tragic events ranging from the September 11, 2001 attacks to the Unaccompanied Alien Children crisis have consistently proven. So, fed up with a lack of meaningful immigration enforcement, American voters elected Donald Trump to hit the so-called “reset button.” And that has irked the elitist open-borders contingent.
Witness The Atlantic’s recently published an article titled, “How Trump Radicalized ICE”. It claims that, “Under the current administration, many of the formal restraints on ICE have been removed,” allowing the Trump administration to turn U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement into a highly-efficient federal law enforcement agency focused on deporting illegal aliens and other immigration law-breakers. According to The Atlantic this is radical.
Except that The Atlantic has gotten it completely backward. None of what it decries as “formal restraints on ICE” were ever anything but informal policies. And, far from “radicalizing” ICE, President Trump is simply allowing the agency to perform its assigned tasks, as they were prescribed by Congress.
So, what purports to be an exposé on the misuse of ICE by President Trump turns out to be nothing more than an incoherent rant. And, to support its wobbly argument, The Atlantic relies on all sorts of outlandish claims and outrageous assertions. Here are just a few of the more egregious examples:
- “No one, as a child, dreams of growing up to deport undocumented immigrants.” – This overly broad statement is clearly intended to portray ICE as some sort of “Land-of-the-Misfit-Toys” staffed by officers who set out to become FBI agents but couldn’t make the cut. But, this type of oversimplification only holds water if you believe that deportation is inherently immoral. Most folks working for ICE believe that deportation is not only moral, but that it is an entirely appropriate response to foreigners who enter the U.S. without authorization.
- Deportation Officers can’t execute search warrants. – The Atlantic clearly wants its readers to believe that Deportation Officers are a lesser species of federal law enforcement officer who can’t execute search warrants. However, 8 Code of Federal Regulations § 287.5(e) specifically states that Deportation Officers are “authorized and designated” to execute search warrants.
- “ICE has numeric goals, and it goes to great lengths to achieve them. – The Atlantic claims that ICE sets “a daily goal for the number of human beings it will deprive of liberty.” This is wildly misleading. The Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2016 required ICE to have 34,000 detention slots available for potential deportees, through September 16, 2016. However, Congress never required ICE to keep those beds filled. However, for quite some time now, ICE has regularly arrested more people that it can detain – releasing those who pose no threat to the community, and little flight risk, on bond.
Near the end, The Atlantic attempts to inject a false measure of objectivity into its ICE smear piece, noting that “Fears of ICE can be exaggerated by word of mouth or compounded by hyperbolic news reports…” Ironically, it doesn’t seem to notice that its own piece is, in fact, one of those fear-mongering, over-the-top news reports.