Calls to abolish ICE only serve to sow even greater division in the American public and in its political leadership, damaging any remaining prospect of bipartisan immigration reform. This is one of the things Americans hate about Washington — that politics has become the end, not the means. Most Americans — whether in Laredo, Tex., or Queens, N.Y. — do not embrace the emotional and absolutist views of immigration on the extreme right or on the extreme left. They simply want to secure the country’s borders, to eliminate the inefficiencies in the system and to treat fairly the undocumented people who were brought here as children and have committed no serious crimes.
None of these interests is being served in Washington right now. It’s just a screaming match. The American public must demand more of its leaders and those who seek that honor. In a democracy, governing requires compromise, compromise requires the acceptance of political risk, and political risk requires political courage. We must hope that sanity, and a little courage, someday, somehow prevail in Washington.