Nonprofit Launches to Restore ICE Immigration Enforcement,


Global Courant

A new nonprofit launching Monday plans to push back against the “Abolish ICE” movement and what it says is the “slander” of the mission of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and its agents in in recent years – as she pushes for stricter domestic immigration enforcement and the end of “sanctuary” cities.

The National Immigration Center for Enforcement — or NICE — plans to advocate for the embattled agency that, after getting a boost under the Trump administration, has seen its mission significantly narrowed under President Biden amid continued attacks from activists who want to scrap the agency altogether.

The Biden Department of Homeland Security attempted to issue a moratorium on all deportations, but was blocked by a court order. It has since narrowed ICE’s enforcement scope, ordering agents to focus on threats to public safety, recent border crossings and threats to national security. That move has also been blocked by a lawsuit.

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DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas stated last year that his agency had “fundamentally changed domestic immigration enforcement.”

“For the first time ever, our policy explicitly states that the unlawful presence of a non-citizen in the United States will not, in itself, be a basis for initiating an enforcement action,” he said.


ICE agents will conduct an enforcement operation on June 2, 2022. (Immigration and Customs Enforcement)

The government’s moves coincided with a sharp drop in the number of deportations. The agency removed 72,177 illegal immigrants in FY 2022 and 59,011 in FY 2021. Those numbers marked a sharp drop from the 185,884 deported in FY 20 (the Trump administration’s last full fiscal year) and 267,258 in FY 2019. That drop also came as the Abolish ICE movement continues to gain momentum among Democrats in Congress.

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A recent report from the DHS Office of Inspector General, meanwhile, found that conditions at the southern border — where many ICE agents have been diverted to deal with the ongoing migrant crisis — are impacting officers’ health and morale. NICE believes their nonprofit organization will be welcomed by the agency’s men and women who serve on the front lines.

NICE chairman RJ Hauman, who has been active in immigration policy and lobbying in Congress for more than a decade, says that domestic immigration enforcement is “critical to national security and public safety.”

“Instead, the Biden administration has directed the agency responsible for enforcing our immigration laws to intentionally violate them. This has created a historic border crisis while doing immeasurable damage to the American people, our communities and the fabric of our nation. he said in a statement to Fox News Digital.

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“When ICE is fully operational and acting in accordance with federal law, ICE will make America safer and more secure. Instead, political forces here in Washington have hijacked ICE and continue to prevent its brave men and women from enforcing our laws and protecting our country. to defend — exactly what the agency was created to do,” he said.


Hauman said the goal of the new group “is to return ICE to the enforcement agency it was meant to be.”

The group’s advisory board is made up of former DHS officials, including former acting U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Joseph Edlow, retired ICE Field Office Director John Fabbricatore, former DHS Office of General Counsel officer Mike Howell, and Chris Russo, President of Texans for Strong Borders.

Edlow noted that the ongoing situation at the border itself often gets a lot of attention in the media and elsewhere, but issues related to ICE and domestic enforcement are often overlooked.

“While border security is critical, we can no longer afford to ignore bigger immigration enforcement issues. The first 48 hours of a border encounter turn into years of unlawful presence, court delays and unexecuted removal orders,” he said.

Protesters are calling for the end of the ICE rally outside City Hall on July 12, 2020 in Seattle. (Karen Ducey/Getty Images)

Edlow, also a former ICE attorney, called for a “return to the integrity of the laws and resistance to the defamation of the mission of ICE and its agents.”

“NICE will add a narrative to the largely ignored immigration debate and will seek to ensure that the American people can rely on justice, protection and fairness in the immigration system,” he said.

Fabbricatore, who worked at the agency for more than two decades, praised the commitment of those who work at ICE “to protect their communities and the entire nation.”

“While politicians with dubious priorities created hot-button issues around the immigration process, those of us in immigration enforcement continued to respond daily to illegal immigration, people smuggling, sex and drug trafficking, gang violence and many other crimes. With what is happening in the border and the of domestic enforcement, it is time to strengthen our resolve and enforce the law as it is written,” he said. “The citizens of this country deserve it and the continued excuses for inaction are no longer acceptable.”

The organization is putting forth a slew of policy priorities related to enforcement, including calls to remove those who violate immigration law, punish repeat offenders, end the catch-and-release policy, require E-Verify, and increase cooperation with the state and local enforcement.

The group is also calling for an end to what it says are illegal “sanctuary cities.” Such jurisdictions prohibit or limit cooperation between law enforcement and ICE detainees – which are requests for a law enforcement agency to notify ICE before releasing an illegal immigrant in their custody.


Proponents of sanctuary laws claim they encourage the cooperation of otherwise law-abiding illegal immigrants, but opponents argue it leads to the release of illegal immigrant criminals who could otherwise be deported back onto the streets. Sanctuary cities have become a hot political issue over the past year after Texas Governor Greg Abbott began shipping migrants to sanctuary cities across the country, including Washington, DC, New York City and Chicago.

Illegal immigration is likely to remain a hot topic in the coming months. Still dealing with a border crisis now entering its third year, the Biden administration has pointed to the removal flights it has conducted since the end of Title 42 last month. In addition, both border security and internal immigration enforcement are likely to be the top issues in the 2024 presidential campaign.

Adam Shaw is a political reporter for Fox News Digital, primarily covering immigration and border security.

He can be reached at [email protected] or at Twitter.

Nonprofit Launches to Restore ICE Immigration Enforcement,

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