ICE Criminal Investigators Want Out Of The ‘Politicized’ Agency

Special agents who investigate criminal complaints for Immigration and Customs Enforcement say they could do their jobs better outside the agency that detains and deports immigrants.

By Jill AmentJune 29, 2018 7:13 am| ,

In a backlash against the president’s immigration policies, agents of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, are now echoing calls from some Democratic Socialists and other progressives that ICE should be dissolved. The Texas Observer first reported this story, picked up today by The New York Times.

Jason Buch is a San Antonio-based journalist who reports for the Texas Observer and other publications. He broke this story. He says more than a dozen ICE Special Agents In-Charge have written to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. The agents work for the division of ICE that investigates national security threats, and conducts criminal investigations.

“They, for awhile, have been uncomfortable with their pairing with the deportation and detention side of ICE,’ Buch says “and now they’ve asked the homeland security secretary to spin them off into their own separate agency within the department.”

Buch says discomfort with the Trump administration’s immigration policy has grown inside the criminal division of ICE, and that has divided it from other elements of the agency. While the union representing agents in the detention division endorsed Trump before the 2016 election, members of the criminal investigation team are not allowed to join the union.

“All of this has made Homeland Security Investigations feel like their mission is being politicized, and being harmed,” Buch says.

Written by Shelly Brisbin.