- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 5, 2018

Leading Democrats are demanding that Immigration and Customs Enforcement — ICE — be abolished. The federal agency was created 15 years ago in response to 9/11 and related threats. A new Rasmussen Reports survey, however, finds voters are not ready to put ICE on ice: 55 percent oppose the idea, including 69 percent of Republicans, 53 percent of independents and 44 percent of Democrats. Only 25 percent overall favor shuttering the agency.

The numbers of those backing the agency likely would rise if Americans were privy to the accomplishments of ICE. The White House press office has released some compelling numbers.

During fiscal year 2017, ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations arrested over 127,000 “criminal aliens” on such charges as homicide, drug and weapons charges, assaults and kidnapping offenses. There were, in fact, 1,800 homicide offenses and 4,818 gang-related arrests. In addition, ICE agents seized 2,370 pounds of fentanyl, 6,967 pounds of heroin and spent some 630,000 investigative hours on fentanyl control.

“Abolishing ICE would mean open borders because it would eliminate the agency responsible for removing people who enter or remain in our country illegally, including drug dealers; gang members; and child molesters, rapists, and other sex offenders. Calls to abolish ICE are an insult to these heroic law enforcement officers who make sacrifices every day to secure our borders, enforce our laws, and protect our safety and security,” the White House said in a statement.

Peek at the heroic agency here. Meanwhile, are the feds too pushy in their efforts to monitor our porous borders?

“Thirty-three percent of all voters believe the U.S. government is too aggressive in deporting those in this country illegally. But a plurality (46 percent) disagrees and says the government isn’t aggressive enough. Just 13 percent consider the current number of deportations as about right,” Rasmussen notes.

HERE COME THE IMMIGRATION GRANTS

They are known for funding generous $625,000 “genius grants” to artists and scientists, and for supporting PBS programming. Now the Chicago-based John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation — which annually provides $255 million in grants for climate change, community development and other “critical programs” — plans to provide funding in response to the ongoing crisis of family separation at the border.

“These developments are an affront to the MacArthur Foundation’s values and our mission of a more just world. We recognize that events are shifting rapidly and that our immigration system involves complex laws and multiple federal agencies. We strongly believe that the United States can protect its borders in a humane and compassionate manner, consistent with the values embodied in our Constitution, immigration laws that allow asylum seekers and others fleeing harm to pursue claims for protection, and statutes that safeguard children who may be subject to persecution or trafficking,” said Tara Magner, director of “Chicago Commitment” at the independent foundation, and a member of President Obama’s transition team on immigration when he took office in 2008.

She did not reference family immigration policies and practices from the Obama administration in her statement. The MacArthur Foundation previously funded U.S. immigration policy research from 2012 to 2016, and in 2017 awarded grants totaling $1.2 million to six Chicago-based organizations, including the Inner-City Muslim Action Network and Latinos Progresando.

“Situations like the one at our border today call for us to speak out and to take action. We are exploring on an expedited basis how a limited amount of grantmaking can help address the most urgent needs of those seeking protection in this country consistent with the universal values of human rights, the right to counsel, and the compelling need to ensure families can remain as united as possible,” Ms. Magner says.

BUSY, PRODUCTIVE MIKE POMPEO

While the news media spins and the Democrats squawk, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is busy, busy, busy — taking care of business. Mr. Pompeo has departed on a significant weeklong trip that takes him back to Pyongyang, North Korea, to follow up on the progress made by President Trump and chairman Kim Jong-un during their unprecedented summit last month.

“Looking forward to continuing our work toward the final, fully verified denuclearization of #DPRK, as agreed to by Chairman Kim,” Mr. Pompeo tweeted before takeoff.

Then he is bound for Tokyo over the weekend to talk over results with Japanese and South Korean leaders, followed by a stop in Hanoi for roughly the same reason. Mr. Pompeo then travels to Abu Dhabi on Monday where he’ll meet with UAE leaders with an eye on common security and economic priorities. The secretary then arrives in Brussels to accompany President Trump to the NATO Summit — where the focus is on “increased defense spending and burden sharing, enhanced deterrence and defense, and NATO’s strengthened efforts to fight terrorism.” That summit ends late next week.

The “burden sharing” part of it sounds promising.

WEEKEND REAL ESTATE

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POLL DU JOUR

69 percent of Americans say it’s possible to criticize President Trump and still be considered “patriotic”; 63 percent of Republicans, 66 percent of independents and 75 percent of Democrats agree.

64 percent of Americans overall say it’s possible to criticize former President Barack Obama and still be patriotic; 84 percent of Republicans, 64 percent of independents and 69 percent of Democrats agree.

45 percent overall say it’s possible to criticize U.S. leaders in front of foreigners and still be patriotic; 35 percent of Republicans, 44 percent of independents and 52 percent of Democrats agree.

44 percent overall say it’s possible to disobey a law they consider immoral and still be patriotic; 33 percent of Republicans, 44 percent of independents and 51 percent of Democrats agree.

23 percent overall say it’s possible to burn the American flag and still be patriotic; 10 percent of Republicans, 22 percent of independents and 34 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: An Economist/YouGov poll of 1,500 U.S. adults conducted June 24-26 and released Wednesday.

Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin


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