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The Hill Op-ed: Who really wants to abolish ICE? Surely not the American people

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, commonly known as ICE, began operations in 2003 as a result of a major reorganization of the federal government in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on America that murdered nearly 3,000 innocent people. In a dangerous world, ICE's main objective, plain and simple, is to keep the American people safe and secure. With 20,000 courageous employees, ICE's mission centers on "smart immigration enforcement, preventing terrorism, and combating the illegal movement of people and goods."

After that horrible September morning almost 17 years ago, I witnessed something truly inspiring. I saw Americans from all walks of life come together and unite as a grieving nation. I watched as our government leaders moved forward together and make important decisions so that such a heinous act would be less likely to happen again.

The Senate overwhelmingly passed the Homeland Security Act of 2002, which paved the way to establish ICE, by a margin of 90-9. This consequential measure enjoyed the broad support of conservatives like former North Carolina Sen. Jesse Helms and Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, and liberals like California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, and even former New York Sen. Hillary Clinton.

Reasonable people can plainly see that ICE officials are under immense pressure on a multitude of fronts each and every day. They cannot let their guard down for one minute. President Trump thoroughly understands this and has been working with congressional Republicans for months to try to come up with commonsense solutions to reform our immigration system to help ICE do its job of keeping Americans safe. But the Democrats have been nowhere to be found. They do not seem interested in compromise simply because of their juvenile dislike of President Trump.

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