Just when the movement to abolish U.S. Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) started catching fire on the far left side of the political aisle, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) has issued talking points to put the brakes on the idea. It’s not for the reason you may hope for, though. The caucus wants to keep the agency to beat up on Trump’s immigration policies, not to support their work.
I give credit to the caucus for acknowledging the other important work ICE does, besides rounding up illegal immigrants and protecting America’s borders by detaining them. Other functions including “narcotics enforcement, investigating cybercrimes, human smuggling, firearms smuggling and counterterrorism,” are not questioned. They just don’t want to abolish ICE before reforming the Trump policies with which they disagree.
While calling for “increasing transparency and accountability,” the CHC talking points conclude that “abolishing ICE without changing President Trump’s disastrous immigration policy will not solve the problem.”
“It is the agency’s misguided and unfortunate policy priority—which now appears to be based on an effort to deport 11 million people and possibly their 5 million U.S. citizen children that has led to this public outcry,” the talking points read. “The agency’s name or place on the organizational chart doesn’t need to be changed. ICE needs greater oversight and accountability so that we can protect the homeland and better manage our broken immigration system.”
This talking points paper being distributed to the caucus members seems like a much more reasonable approach than the actions of some of the members that were taken just last week. You may remember when President Trump went to Capitol Hill to speak with members of Congress about immigration policy and specifically the family separation issue, some of the Hispanic Caucus members clustered together before reporters and held up enlarged photos of children allegedly separated from parents as the cameras rolled. They shouted at President Trump in protest of law enforcement activity at the border. The only Democrat to come forward against their behavior that I noticed was House Minority Whip Rep. Steny Hoyer, (D-MD), the second in command.
House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, a Maryland Democrat and frequent critic of Trump, sharply condemned the administration’s recent policy that resulted in family separation at the border, but said he disagreed with the approach taken by members of his own party to protest the President.
“I think that’s — it’s not appropriate,” he told CNN’s Kate Bolduan on “Newsroom” when asked if he was comfortable with the strategy.
Don’t think Hoyer’s going soft on Trump, though. He was quick to declare his disagreement with Trump on immigration policy and blame him for all the problems, too.
Earlier in his interview, Hoyer went on to criticize the President for taking credit for signing an executive order that allows children to remain with their parents while in custody at the border.
“I don’t applaud the president. He created a crisis. He said he solved the crisis. He has not,” he said. “He can change it tomorrow. Very frankly the solution he suggests, we’re not going to wrench children from the arms of their parents. We’re going to incarcerate children with their parents. That’s not humane.”
No word yet if Senator Gillibrand (D-NY) or NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio has seen the talking points.