McConnell: I Will Continue to Stand With the Brave Men and Women of ICE
‘In fiscal year 2017, ICE recorded more than 105,000 arrests of aliens with known criminal convictions on their records. Nearly 4,600 convictions for robbery. More than 3,700 for sexual assault. And more than 1,500 for homicide. We’re talking about the men and women in law enforcement who confront all this in order to keep their fellow citizens safe. This is hardly a controversial mission. It’s essential. We are lucky these agents are willing to serve. The nation is better off for it.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding his visit to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office in Louisville Friday:
“First, I want to take a few moments to discuss the brave men and women who serve in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. I had the privilege of visiting the ICE office in Louisville this past Friday and meeting with agents in person. This is a federal agency that was created following the attacks of September 11th, 2001. It’s responsible for several key aspects of homeland security: Enforcing our immigration laws, combating terrorism, and preventing people and goods from moving illegally throughout our country.
“And its record on these vital missions is staggering. In fiscal year 2017, ICE recorded more than 105,000 arrests of aliens with known criminal convictions on their records. Nearly 4,600 convictions for robbery. More than 3,700 for sexual assault. And more than 1,500 for homicide. We’re talking about the men and women in law enforcement who confront all this in order to keep their fellow citizens safe. This is hardly a controversial mission. It’s essential. We are lucky these agents are willing to serve. The nation is better off for it.
“So I wanted to pay these agents a visit in Louisville and thank them firsthand for their work. Because recently, they’ve fallen into the crosshairs of some extremely vocal far-left special interest groups. Groups who explicitly say -- now get this -- that our nation would be better off with no borders and no immigration laws of any kind. These folks are slandering ICE agents. They’re calling the agency, quote ‘an unaccountable strike force executing a campaign of ethnic cleansing,’ and even, ‘a genuine threat to democracy.’
“That’s right. According to these far-left groups, the ‘threat to democracy’ is not the violent criminals who are illegally present in our country -- but rather the brave law enforcement officers who volunteer to take them on. Well, fringe political movements are nothing new. You can find a few Americans who will argue almost any side of any issue. What is new, what does get my attention, is when prominent, leading Democratic politicians -- including a number of our colleagues here in the Senate -- adopt some of these extremists’ views wholesale and let the far-left talking points form the basis for their own policy positions.
“The junior senator from New York said recently that, if Democrats regain the House and Senate, the first thing they should do is, quote, ‘Get rid of ICE.’ The senior senator from Massachusetts pointed to ‘replacing ICE’ as the first priority of a top-to-bottom rebuild of America’s immigration system. The mayor of New York City calls the agency, quote, ‘No longer acceptable.’ And a member of the United States House of Representatives likened it to -- get this: ‘The Gestapo of the United States.’
“I’m really not sure where to begin in responding to this foaming hysteria. It is one thing for a few protestors and socialist hecklers who want open borders and the elimination of all immigration laws to adopt a slogan as silly and ill-considered as ‘Abolish ICE.’ But it is something else entirely when United States Senators are so eager to please these left-wing extremists that they join that chorus -- join in denigrating the men and women of U.S. law enforcement.
“This is the moment we’re in. Leading Democrats taking cues from the open-borders socialist crowd and proposing to eliminate the very agency that enforces federal immigration laws within the interior of our nation. Talk about a political stunt. The American people want nothing to do with these dangerous antics.
“My neighbors and constituents in Kentucky certainly don’t. So my fellow Republicans and I will continue to proudly stand with ICE, stand with the rule of law, and stand with all the American families who would rather have fewer drugs and less crime in the communities where they’re raising their children.”
Related Issues: Immigration, Homeland Security