Special Agents Say Trump’s War on Immigrants Has Jeopardized Real Investigations

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Can you accuse of Democrats of being radical for proposing that we dissolve Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) if ICE agents are calling for the same thing?

A group of special agents and investigators reportedly signed a letter addressed to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen urging her to dissolve ICE and split it into separate agencies with specific missions.

According to agents within Homeland Security Investigations, which is a division of ICE, their jobs have become far more difficult if not impossible because Trump's deportation force has overshadowed everything they do.

The Texas Observer first reported the contents of the letter.

“HSI’s investigations have been perceived as targeting undocumented aliens, instead of the transnational criminal organizations that facilitate cross border crimes impacting our communities and national security,” the special agents in charge wrote in the previously unreported letter.

They also wrote that “the perception of HSI’s investigative independence is unnecessarily impacted by the political nature” of ICE’s immigration enforcement. “Many jurisdictions continue to refuse to work with HSI because of a perceived linkage to the politics of civil immigration.” [...]

The special agents in charge lead the regional offices for ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations, or HSI, which bills itself as the country’s “transnational investigative agency.” HSI is tasked with going after violators of U.S. customs laws, including human traffickers, child pornographers and drug cartel leaders.

Federal prosecutors near the southern border also recently blew the whistle. They say their resources have been diverted for Trump's politically-motivated crackdown, leaving serious criminals to be prosecuted in state courts where they'll receive lesser sentences. Trump has dedicated their time and money to prosecuting women and children for petty misdemeanor offenses that don't even result in additional jail time.

Now, even if ICE was dissolved and spun off into separate agencies, that wouldn't necessarily solve HSI's problems.

Information gathered by HSI could and would still be used by the Trump regime to arrest and deport more immigrants even if they've fully cooperated with special agents investigating serious crimes.

ICE should be dissolved, but that's not enough. Immigration policy needs to be reformed at a fundamental level so that immigration agents can't be deployed for politically-motivated reasons.

  • Badgerite

    We are actually putting our security at risk to cage babies. FFFFFF trump. FFFFFF the gop.
    Don’t pardon my language. I don’t give a flying FFFFF.

  • muselet

    ICE should be dissolved, but that’s not enough. Immigration policy needs to be reformed at a fundamental level so that immigration agents can’t be deployed for politically-motivated reasons.


    I’m not sure what a rational immigration policy would look like—we’ve never had one and I can’t think of a single country off the top of my head that has—but it’s something we need to figure out and implement, quickly.