When it comes to immigration, House Republicans haven’t done much this year — they haven’t taken action to defend the status of Dreamers, or passed legislation to protect nearly a million immigrants whose temporary protected status is in danger, or done anything to prevent the tragedy of thousands of children being separated from their parents. And that’s just the tip of the spear when it comes to what they haven’t done.
What they are finding time for, apparently, is a resolution today on the politics of ICE — a pointless vote that will change nothing and help no one.
Below are just a few examples of headlines from recent weeks that would make for better resolutions — or full Congressional investigations:
- The sexual assault of migrant women in detention facilities
- The condition of migrant children currently being reunited with their parents: one had scabies, another had lice, and another boy only stared at the floor and wouldn’t speak with his father
- The condition of migrant children held in detention: some were refused bathroom breaks, others were not allowed to brush their teeth or bathe, one boy was bullied by a roommate and ended up with a bloody skull, and some were forced to drink toilet water
- The reasons why an ICE lawyer felt forced quit; “I used to be an ICE lawyer but now I’m going to defend immigrant parents and children. I didn’t become an attorney to prosecute and deport babies,” wrote Laura Peña, a former assistant chief counsel at ICE.
- Conditions causing 19 ICE investigators to call to be separated from the organization as the priorities under the Trump Administration have limited their ability to pursue national security threats, child pornography, and transnational crime. Another ICE agent told the Los Angeles Times, “Even the cops don’t like us anymore.”
- ICE allegedly telling former ICE spokesperson James Schwab to lie about an raid in Oakland. Rather than lie, Schwab quit in March 2018, only to be unexpectedly interrupted by ICE during an interview he was doing with CBS at his home explaining why he quit. “This is intimidation”, Schwab said of the interruption.
- The sentencing of a former ICE Chief Counsel to four years in prison as part of a plea agreement with the U.S. Justice Department. Raphael A. Sanchez used his access to private information to steal immigrants’ identities, opening up credit cards and taking out loans in their names.
- The deliberate attempt, led by now-White House chief of staff John Kelly, to portray immigrants as criminals in order to justify raids against them.
There’s many, many more. View them here.