Matt Haggman says ICE should be abolished

Matt Haggman

Matt Haggman, a Democratic candidate for Florida’s 27th Congressional District, is now calling for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to be abolished.

This comes as Democrats have criticized the Donald Trump administration for numerous policies they deem to be unnecessarily harsh toward undocumented immigrants.

The elimination of an entire federal agency may seem like an extreme step; Haggman says otherwise.

“Abolishing ICE is not a radical idea,” he argued. “ICE was created in 2003. We’re talking about a 15-year-old agency that has far overstepped its intended, national security function and is sucking up government resources to deport families and detain children.”

Haggman has his timeline right. ICE was created in the aftermath of 9/11 as part of the Homeland Security Act. Though now seen as a fairly high-profile agency, it has not been around for all that long.

Haggman, however, says it’s been around for long enough.

“I intend to be an advocate for comprehensive immigration reform in Congress and abolishing ICE is a necessary part of that picture,” he said.

ICE has come under scrutiny from some Democrats given the Trump administration’s focus on tackling the issue of illegal immigration. Recent moves by The Trump administration to separate some children from their parents at the border have only inflamed those tensions.

Advocacy organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union have called out ICE over their role enforcing these policies. Haggman says the only solution is to get rid of ICE altogether and shift their role elsewhere in the government.

“This is not who we are as a nation,” Haggman said. “There’s no reason that the limited, necessary functions of immigration enforcement can’t be carried out by other government organizations that don’t have ICE’s track record of cruelty.”

Haggman says he still supports deporting criminals and allowing U.S. Customs and Border Protection to do its job. “Our borders will still be secured, but we cannot continue to support and fund an organization whose only purpose is carrying out sweeps to check for people’s papers.”

Haggman’s proposal isn’t a new one for Democrats. Liberals seeking to push back against the Trump presidency have argued in favor of abolishing ICE as a rallying cry of sorts.

California U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, a rumored Democratic presidential candidate in 2020, even took heat from some liberal outlets when she criticized ICE for abusing its power but argued that agency should still exist.

It’s not clear whether the issue will serve as a liberal litmus test in 2020, or even 2018. But Haggman has already chosen his side.

“My wife’s parents came to the United States through the Freedom Tower 50 years ago. Our family knows firsthand the importance of an immigration system that treats immigrants as human beings. Let’s not take incremental steps. Let’s take bold action and demand an end to an agency which inspires terror in millions of people.”

Ryan Nicol

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to [email protected].

One comment

  • Marion

    June 1, 2018 at 3:05 pm

    Separating parents from children is cruel. The whole family should be deported together. “Peaceful” invaders should not be tolerated.

Comments are closed.


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