During the 2020 election, it was the far left in the form of Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who were openly committed to abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). According to the Washington Post, which surveyed all of the candidates, Joe Biden’s position was unclear. Next to his photo on this story the Post reported, “Biden did not provide an answer to this question.” But because of Biden’s standing as the moderate guy in the race the expectation was that he would not try to abolish ICE.
However last month, Biden was heckled by a group of people chanting “abolish ICE” during a speech and Biden gave this response: “I agree with you. I’m working on it man, give me another five days.”
And it seems he has been working on it. The Washington Post’s immigration reporter wrote about this dynamic earlier this month. Yesterday he published a follow up that makes clear the Biden administration is abolishing many of ICE’s duties even if the agency itself still exists. Last month the agencies 6,000 officers carried out just 3,000 deportations. This is all thanks to the new rules put in place by the administration:
Under Biden’s new rules, deportation officers must seek written authorization from senior-level supervisors to arrest anyone who is not a recent border crosser, a national security threat or an aggravated felon who poses a public safety hazard…
ICE officials frustrated with the changes describe a workplace environment where officers spend time doing paperwork, idling or working out, more fearful of facing reprimand for making an arrest than not making one.
One of the priority groups, recent border crossers, are effectively no longer subject to arrest once they reach the U.S. interior. Unaccompanied minors and families are also largely exempt, unless they are convicted of a serious crime.
In other words, the administration’s ICE rules match closely with its rules at the border where unaccompanied minors and families with younger children are not being turned away. Once they reach the interior of the country, legally or illegally, they are off limits for deportation unless they are convicted of a felony.
Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich told the Post, “The Biden administration and its radical allies are effectively abolishing ICE through administrative acts.” And they’re still not done. Sometime soon Sec. Mayorkas is expected to release his final review of the agency and told the Post he expected there would be “significant changes” when that happens. What those changes will be is anybody’s guess but reporter Nick Miroff does mention that even Sec. Mayorkas has indicated recently that the current rules governing ICE may be too limiting.
Democrats elected Joe Biden but when it comes to ICE they got something a lot closer to Bernie Sanders.