ICE’s role during the Trump administration
Since President Trump launched his political campaign for the 2016 elections, immigration has been a key piece of his proposals, promises and goals. In a relentless attempt to curb illegal immigration and restrict legal immigration processes, the Trump administration has used several federal agencies to fulfill its immigration agenda and demonstrate to the public that the country needs a strict and complex immigration system; a premise that has been contradicted on multiple occasions by experts and critics.
For instance, one of the main tools of the Trump administration is the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency, which is a branch of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
Some of ICE’s tasks are:
- Protect the borders of the US from illegal immigration and criminal activity.
- Oversee immigration detention centers across the US, where hundreds of undocumented immigrants wait for their deportation proceedings to be completed.
- Conduct operations within the country to locate and detain immigrants who managed to cross the borders without prior authorization, mainly those with criminal records or pending legal charges.
Under the Trump administration, ICE has had the power and the right to expedite deportation proceedings, conduct detention operations almost anywhere in the country, and instill fear among immigrant communities.
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The controversy surrounding ICE
Due to the nature of its duties and the power granted by the Trump administration, ICE has been embroiled in a gigantic controversy for the last four years, mainly during the massive outbreak of Coronavirus in the North American territory.
ICE, under the premise of a health emergency and with the support of President Trump, deported unaccompanied immigrant minors, used the so-called “express removals” to deport immigrants without giving them the opportunity to submit their applications and without a court hearing, allowed the massive spread of COVID-19 within its facilities and put the integrity of the most vulnerable immigrant communities at risk.
For more details: ICE Involved in Multiple Controversies and Legal Complaints
ICE’s most recent leader also resigns
Although the Trump administration’s view on immigration appears to be clear, direct, and planned, several ICE chiefs have resigned during his term, leaving doubts and uncertainty among the American population and border agents about what is really happening with this federal entity.
In fact, ICE has had 6 leaders since 2017, a record number under the Trump administration. For instance, ICE’s most recent leader, Jonathan Fahey, abruptly resigned on Wednesday, January 13, 2021, after serving in this position only for two weeks.
Fahey’s predecessor lasted only 5 months in the position and also abruptly resigned in December 2020. What seems to be a constant question among several activist groups is why ICE leaders are resigning right after the American population elected Democratic nominee Joe Biden as the next president of the US, who will take office on January 20, 2021.
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