The scope of ICE’s upcoming operation is becoming clearer thanks to a new interview with Acting U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Ken Cuccinelli. In an appearance with CBS News on Sunday, Cuccinelli said that even though President Trump put the operation on temporary hold a couple of weeks ago, ICE agents remain ready to go out, arrest, and deport a million illegal immigrants who currently have removal orders against them from a judge.
“They are ready to just perform their mission, which is to go and find and detain and then deport the approximately one million people who have final removal orders,” Cuccinelli said. “They’ve been all the way through the due process and have final removal orders. Who among those will be targeted for this particular effort or not is really just information kept within ICE.”
In an ideal world, Cuccinelli said, these removals would have been taking place all along. Unfortunately, however, the ongoing dispute about illegal immigration on Capitol Hill has forced the agency to take a step back and allow these aliens to stay put for the time being.
“I’m just pointing out that the pool of those with final removal orders is enormous,” he said. “It’s important to note, here we are talking about ICE doing its job as if it’s special. And really this should be going on on a rolling basis for ICE and they’ve been interfered with, effectively, and held up by the politics of Washington to a certain extent.”
While a massive deportation scheme may seem like a risky move heading into an election year, polls show that American voters are all for it. According to a new Harvard/Harris poll, 51% of voters feel that it is perfectly acceptable for ICE to deport the 11 million+ illegal aliens living in this country, absent any action on the problem from Capitol Hill. This includes 80% of Republican voters and more than 50% of independents. 90% of President Trump’s loyal supporters say they would support such a move.
Granted, there is a difference between talking about mass deportations on paper and watching them unfold (with all the expected drama and tears) on national television. But these numbers show that Americans have a vested interest in seeing the rule of law upheld. And frankly, they haven’t been given much of that over the last ten years when it comes to illegal immigration.
Politics or not, it’s time to enforce the law. Let the partisan chips fall where they may.