The Left Exploits Coronavirus to Open Borders and ‘Abolish ICE’


The left loves exploiting a crisis.

Horrific school shooting? “An opportunity to ban guns!” Forest fires in California? “Let’s destroy American industry and pass a Green New Deal!” Coronavirus? “Abolish immigration controls!”

The original “Abolish ICE” movement was popularized in by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) when she stood next to a fence of a parking lot and cried for the cameras. 

You’d think a pandemic caused by a foreign virus might be bad news for the open borders crowd. They certainly don’t seem to think so.

The latest strategy is to claim detention facilities are unsafe. Predictably, the establishment media has bought the story. 

A leading group in the “Abolish ICE” movement recently told CNN that as detainees felt like “sitting ducks.”

They cited unnamed detainees to lend credence to these assertions.

But while CNN has admitted they were unable to verify the claims, the outlet inexplicably chose to publish them anyway. Other outlets have run stories of hunger strikes despite ICE’s explicit denial of their veracity.

What these stories really show is a coordinated effort by activists to capitalize on a crisis in order to target ICE and other federal agencies keeping America safe.

Activists have gone so far as to encourage rioting and unrest in order to attempt to force the wholesale release of detainees.

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Moreover, their true aims become especially clear when one considers that the recent legal action taken by the ACLU and other groups is, in fact, part of a much larger lawsuit against ICE that was filed way back in August of last year.

While anti-ICE activists mount drive-by protests and advocate for the release of all detainees, they omit a multitude of critical facts that simply don’t square with their narrative.

For starters, 51 percent of ICE detainees are convicted criminals.

As the coronavirus pandemic has already put additional strain on our first responders, it should be unconscionable to release thousands of criminals back onto our streets.

Furthermore, the notion that these detainees are being held in inhumane conditions is patently false.

While Ocasio-Cortez and her cohort have condemned the recent stimulus package—which included $350 million for refugee resettlement but nothing for the Border Patrol or ICE—for focusing on American citizens and excluding illegal immigrants, the truth of the matter is that detainees in ICE facilities all receive round-the-clock medical care paid for by our tax dollars.

If these detainees were to be released, it is doubtful that they would be able to find the same level of treatment, especially as many of our hospitals deal with overcrowding and a lack of critical supplies. 

While open-borders activists continue to call for the release of illegal immigrants detained in these facilities, they haven’t planned further ahead.

What should be done about the high percentage of these detainees that are convicted criminals?

Who will provide the same level of care, including medical care, shelter, and hygiene products, to replace that offered by ICE?

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And how will we mitigate the stress on our already strained healthcare infrastructure and resources that would be caused by the detainees’ release? 

Progressives didn’t have answers for these questions prior to the crisis, and they certainly don’t have the answers now.

But pesky issues such as these have never deterred the radical left before.

With a pandemic raging around us, they’ve discovered that the best opportunity to accomplish their goals may be now. For those of us looking to avoid an even greater crisis, let’s hope they don’t succeed.

Terry Schilling

Terry Schilling is executive director of the American Principles Project.

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