Immigration policy will loom large in the 2018 elections. Democrats hope Americans will punish Republicans for the Trump administration’s decision to snatch little boys and girls away from their parents—to separate families in the hope that the primal pain of the ordeal discourages future migrants from crossing the border with children.
Meanwhile, some on the Democratic Party’s left flank are demanding candidates and elected officials who want to abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, the federal agency that identifies, imprisons, immiserates, and deports unlawful immigrants (though not the agency that stands guard over the border).
Dara Lind has the definitive write-up of that movement.
Abolishing ICE, a radical departure from the Obama administration’s approach to immigration politics and policy, still lacks support among most Democratic politicians, but President Trump is opportunistically portraying it as the new Democratic position. His rhetoric suggests that he hopes to win the midterms by stoking fears of immigrant gang members perpetrating violent crimes while portraying his opponents as weak, anti-law-enforcement extremists. He is going so far as to cast members of one Salvadoran gang as subhuman.
“When we have an ‘infestation’ of MS-13 GANGS in certain parts of our country, who do we send to get them out? ICE!” he recently tweeted. “They are tougher and smarter than these rough criminal elements that bad immigration laws allow into our country. Dems do not appreciate the great job they do!”
Although undocumented immigrants are statistically less likely to commit crimes than native-born citizens, and although crime is lower than it was in bygone decades when there were significantly fewer undocumented immigrants in the United States, the president has returned to that theme repeatedly rather than occupying his time with the country’s most pressing challenges.
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Via:: The Atlantic