WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), joined Senator John Kennedy (R-LA) today in introducing a resolution denouncing the radical calls for the dissolution of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Cassidy and Kennedy were joined by Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR), David Perdue (R-GA), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), John Cornyn (R-TX), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Steve Daines (R-MT), Dean Heller (R-NV) and Ron Johnson (R-WI).
ICE performs vital functions that protect American families. Last year, agents worked tirelessly around the clock to rescue 1,422 victims of human trafficking. More than 900 of those victims were children. ICE agents also removed a million pounds of narcotics and more than 4,800 gang members from the streets of this country. Those numbers are just a small fraction of the nearly 127,000 arrests made by ICE agents last year against people who came here and committed violent crimes against law-abiding Americans. Those criminals were responsible for more than 50,000 assaults, 2,000 kidnappings and 1,800 homicides.
“Washington Democrats wanting to abolish ICE, our country’s immigration law enforcement agency, are essentially demanding open borders,” said Dr. Cassidy. “Assaults on ICE officers nearly tripled in 2017, so instead of attacking them, we should support them as they work to secure our borders, stop the flow of deadly drugs, break up violent gangs like MS-13, rescue human trafficking victims, and keep our communities safe.”
“I am deeply troubled by the Democrats’ reckless calls to abolish ICE. Eliminating ICE shows a blatant disregard for the welfare of the American people and our nation’s immigration laws,” said Sen. Kennedy. “With the ever present threat of MS-13 and international terrorism, along with an opioid crisis being fought at our border, abolishing ICE is unthinkable. ICE officers are in the trenches fighting those threats and protecting American families from the cross-border crime and illegal immigration that endanger our families. ICE deserves our gratitude and respect, not scorn and ridicule.”
“ICE agents are the front line when it comes to enforcing our immigration laws. They risk their lives on a daily basis to protect American citizens and immigrants from violent criminals, drug cartels, and human traffickers. Calls to abolish ICE not only disregard our immigration laws and give implicit license to those who want to enter our country illegally, they also smear the heroic sacrifices of ICE agents and put people at risk, especially in border states like Texas. I will continue to support the brave men and women who serve as ICE agents, and urge my colleagues to stand by ICE and honor the key role it plays in keeping our country safe,” said Sen. Cruz.
“ICE plays a critical role in ensuring our nation has a lawful immigration system. Calls to abolish ICE are misguided and dangerous. They ignore the valuable role ICE officers play in keeping Americans safe. Every day, ICE officers remove dangerous criminals who threaten our communities, including sex offenders, murderers and gang members. This country was founded on the principles of the rule of law and equal justice. Their public service deserves our thanks,” Sen. Grassley said.
“Every United States Senator should support this effort to recognize the brave women and men who wear the ICE uniform,” said Sen. Perdue. “ICE is a critical component of our country’s national security strategy created after the terrorist attacks on 9/11. Since then, our ICE law enforcement officers have dedicated their lives to arresting human traffickers, protecting communities from gangs, combating terrorism, and keeping drugs off the street. We don’t say it enough – thank you to all of our ICE officers.”
“U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agents play a vital role in the defense of our country,” said Sen. Rounds. “Not only do they work to safeguard our borders, they keep our communities safe and help rescue vulnerable children and human trafficking victims. Without the brave men and women of ICE, our borders would be essentially wide open for terrorists and other criminals who are intent on doing harm to Americans. Last year alone, ICE agents made approximately 5,000 gang arrests, seized nearly a million pounds of narcotics and rescued over 1,000 human trafficking victims and children subject to exploitation. I support our law enforcement officers at ICE who put themselves in danger every day to defend our borders and keep our communities safe.”
“The hardworking men and women of Immigration and Customs Enforcement risk their lives each day to protect our borders and enforce our laws,” Sen. Inhofe said. “I often visit with ICE agents and Border Patrol officers at the Port of Brownsville, Texas. They work diligently, and in difficult conditions, to manage deportations of dangerous criminals and to investigate cybercrime, human trafficking and illicit narcotics trade. Calls to abolish this critical agency are shortsighted and would lead to a proliferation of crime in our communities. I’m proud to support ICE and their important role in our nation’s law enforcement.”
“ICE agents put their lives on the line to protect our communities,” said Sen. Blunt. “Every day, they work to take violent criminals off the street, seize deadly narcotics, rescue human trafficking victims, and prevent terrorists from carrying out attacks on our shores. They are a vital part of our nation’s law enforcement efforts and we are a safer country because of their service.”
“ICE agents keep our borders secure and I want to thank them for the important work they are doing. Far too many people are coming into our country illegally and putting the safety and security of American citizens at risk. In Montana, the effects of unsecured borders are personal. All across our state, communities are torn apart by the meth and opioids that are trafficked through the southern border. I am committed to fighting to protect ICE and all the Americans its agents protect,” said Sen. Daines.
“Abolishing ICE means abandoning our borders and leaving them open to anyone. That’s just irresponsible and certainly not in the best interest of the American people and their security. We are a nation of laws and we must enforce our immigration laws,” said Sen. Hyde-Smith.
“The men and women of ICE go out every day and risk their own lives by confronting dangerous gang members and criminals and stopping the flow of illegal drugs,” said Sen. Tillis. “The current narrative to abolish ICE is irresponsible, and I urge my colleagues on both sides of aisle to call out these unreasonable demands and the instead show appreciation to ICE agents for the job they do to keep our country safe.”
“The men and women of Immigration and Customs Enforcement who put their lives on the line every day deserve our support, not our scorn. It’s not their fault our immigration system is horribly broken. Angry rhetoric and reckless proposals directed at ICE will not solve the problems of our unsecured border or legal loopholes that encourage illegal immigration,” said Sen. Johnson.