Why do we even need ICE? The agency’s main job is to find and apprehend illegal immigrants who are already in the country. In theory, this is different from Border Patrol, which is meant to patrol, well, the border, but technically can operate anywhere within 100 miles of the border. As the American Civil Liberties Union has frequently pointed out, two-thirds of Americans live within 100 miles of the border, which means two-thirds of Americans are already under the jurisdiction of both ICE and Border Patrol. This essentially makes ICE, and its $3.8 billion annual budget, redundant. I can’t think of anything ICE does that brings added value to the country, but I can point to numerous instances of the agency unnecessarily harassing Americans.
An increasingly large number of Americans seem to agree. It’s not just fringe organizations like Antifa, social anarchist groups, and sundry leftists organizing protests and staging sit-ins at ICE locations, demanding the agency be dismantled. Serious, mainstream politicians, such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), have thrown their weight behind the movement.