House Approves Pro-ICE Resolution, Exposing Democratic Extremism in the Process
By Heather Ham-Warren | July 20, 2018
Over the past month, Democrats have begun a new war chant as they march into election season—“ABOLISH ICE.” Last week, Representatives Pocan (D-WI), Jayapal (D-WA), and Espaillat (D-NY) introduced H.R. 6361, the Establishing a Humane Immigration Enforcement System Act, to officially abolish United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Shortly after the bill’s introduction, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) announced he would bring the bill to the House floor for a vote, a move intended to force Democrats to defend their new radical position.
In an odd turn of events, Democrats began to backtrack upon hearing that their bill would receive a vote. The bill’s sponsors vowed to vote “no,” and released a joint explanation trying to rationalize the bizarre decision. “We know Speaker Ryan is not serious about passing our ‘Establishing a Humane Immigration Enforcement System Act,’ so members of Congress, advocacy groups, and impacted communities will not engage in this political stunt,” Pocan, Jayapal, and Espaillat said.
The reality is that this change of heart has less to do with House leadership, and more to do with public opinion. A Politico poll released last week found that only 25 percent of voters think ICE should be abolished, compared to 54 percent who think the agency should remain. These responses demonstrate that any member of Congress who supports abolishing ICE is not on the side of the American people, but rather listening only to the loudest and most irresponsible voices on the left. Even the Congressional Hispanic Caucus thinks it’s a poor idea.
Republican members of both the House and Senate decided to redirect the conversation by introducing resolutions in both chambers supporting the officers and personnel of ICE. Following suit, House leadership scrapped the anticipated “Abolish ICE” vote and instead considered H.Res. 990, expressing support for the officers and personnel who carry out the important mission of the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The bill quickly garnered the support of the majority with nearly 80 cosponsors in less than a week. Conversely, Democrats vowed not to support the resolution.
The resolution is simple. It expresses continued support for all ICE officers and personnel who carry out the important mission of ICE; denounces calls for the complete abolishment of ICE; and supports the efforts of all Federal agencies, State law enforcement, and military personnel who bring law and order to our nation’s borders. Unfortunately, the United States is plagued by unprecedented gang violence and a heartbreaking opioid crisis—two afflictions categorically amplified by illegal immigration. Additionally, the threat of international terrorism consistently looms over our nation as bad actors target our democracy. Yet, every single day, underappreciated ICE officers and personnel risk their lives to protect our families and our communities.
Thankfully, on Wednesday, the resolution passed the House by a vote of 244-36, with 133 Democrats simply voting present. It is disheartening that this resolution was necessary in the first place. Furthermore, it is disgraceful that only 18 Democrats could muster support for the brave men and women of ICE who protect our nation every day. FAIR released a statement applauding the members on both sides of the aisle who stood with these hardworking individuals and the rule of law.
While this resolution was a great step in redirecting the conversation, more is required than a non-binding resolution. Now, more than ever, it is crucial to increase funding for this important agency and give ICE officers the resources they need to enforce our immigration laws. Hopefully, the House will utilize this momentum to solidify proper funding throughout the appropriations process.