The latest Democrat campaign issue appears to be the abolition of the Immigration Control and Enforcement Agency (ICE). How this came about says a lot about the Democratic Party.
While it had been the talk in the back rooms of radical left politicians for some time, it first came to the surface – meaning the liberal media started to report on it – when the radical left-wing candidate for governor of New York, Cynthia Nixon (not related to the former president in any way, shape or form), first called for the crushing of ICE. (This issue is fraught with pun potential).
Nixon is taking on incumbent Governor Andrew Cuomo in the Democrat primary. With the rise of the radical left in the Democratic Party, and especially in New York, Cuomo cannot assume victory. His Party is traveling to the left at breakneck speed.
Initially, Nixon’s call for the elimination of ICE was largely received as more of the characteristic excess of the far left. But then along came 28-year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who defeated incumbent Congressman Joe Crowley, a key member of the House leadership, a close pal of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi – and likely heir to the top job should Pelosi retire.
Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign issues were what one would expect from a self-proclaimed socialist: free (meaning taxpayer paid) everything for everyone. Within Ocasio-Cortez’s litany of left-wing lunacy was the call to put ICE on … well … ice.
Suddenly, the issue went mainstream among Democrat candidates and leaders – at least on the left bank of the Party’s mainstream. New York’s Senator Kirsten Gillibrand took up the call, as did Mayor Libby Schaaf of Oakland, California — infamous for tipping off the crooks of pending ICE roundups. Several Democrat congressional candidates have made it a part of their platform.
As the #AbolishICE movement grew within the Democratic Party, it was not entirely welcomed by the more pragmatic liberal leadership. In an online commentary for New York Magazine, Margaret Hartman wrote:
“Other Democrats have warned that advocating a position as extreme as abolishing ICE entirely might be a gift to Republicans, as it supports their claims that Democrats don’t really want to enforce immigration laws.”
She is spot on. The opponents of abolishing ICE are pressing for unspecified reforms to release some political pressure from the far left. As may be expected, that middle ground is not being well received by the over-heated radical left. A split on this issue could be an existential threat to the future of the Democratic Party as a significant force in American Politics. If that sounds like an exaggeration, consider that the ONLY power they have at the national level is the filibuster in the Senate. That’s it. And they are the minority party in two-thirds of the states.
The only advantage they have is a very partisan press that serves like the title character’s contraption in “The Wizard of Oz” — making the Democratic Party sound and appear much more imposing and powerful than it really is.
I have never liked the term “fake news,” but it is hard to argue that the liberal media is not offering up false impressions and false narratives. On the issue of ICE, Samantha Vinograd, a CNN national security analyst, completely misrepresented a quote by President Trump.
Trump complimented the work of ICE for ridding America of “the worst criminal elements.” Vinograd claimed that Trump was referring to ALL immigrants as criminals – a total lie and a continuation of the false media narrative.
Last year ICE deported about 170,000 illegals. One has to wonder why the left was so silent and passive when President Obama deported more than 400,000 in a single year – and he said so with immense pride.
Contrary to the impression one might get from the anti-ICE rhetoric, they do not go around picking up every illegal alien and deporting them. They concentrate on the criminal class. You would think that Democrats would see that as a good thing, but their opposition to deportation does fit with their open borders philosophy. I know … they claim to want secure borders, but what they do – or do not do – is a lot more telling than what they say.
The campaign to abolish ICE is just another example of the left’s propensity for futility politics. ICE is not going to be disbanded. Most Americans approve of the work they are doing. They are fine men and women who risk their lives to keep us all safe – including those who want to send them to the unemployment line.
I would say that the campaign to ice ICE is on the rocks.