President Donald Trump used his weekly address to express his administration’s support for Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in the wake of some Democrats and left-wing groups calling for the agency tasked with protecting Americans from criminals to be abolished.
Trump pointed out that ICE was created in response to the terror attacks of September 2011 when almost 3,000 people were killed by “foreign nationals who exploited our lax immigration laws and defrauded our immigration system.”
“One of the critical lessons of 9/11 is that immigration enforcement saves lives,” Trump said. “We must enforce the rules against visa fraud, illegal overstay, illegal entry, and other immigration violations and crimes; and crimes they are – believe me, crimes they are.”
“These are the practices exploited by terrorists, drug dealers, child smugglers, human traffickers, gang members – and countless unknown and unregistered criminals – to gain illicit access to our country and threaten our citizens,” Trump said.
The president noted statistics that show in fiscal year 2017 alone ICE detained more than 127,000 aliens charged or convicted of crimes in the United States.
Trump chided the Democrats who have called for eliminating ICE.
“In other words, they want open borders and more crime,” Trump said. “And that’s what you’re going to get. You’ll get more crime as you open up those borders.”
He also noted that 167 Democrats did not vote to support a recent, Republican-sponsored resolution to support ICE.
“These are brave and great men and women,” Trump said. “They’re in the trenches every day taking the fight straight to vicious gangs. They prey on our people, they hurt our people, they kill our people.”
“Without the brave heroes of ICE, we would have no enforcement, no laws, no borders and therefore – we wouldn’t even have a country.”
Trump said his administration and the American people are with ICE agents “100 percent.”
“You are the heroes who protect the lives of our citizens, the safety of our communities, and the sovereignty of our great nation,” Trump said. “We love you. We support you. And we always will stand with you.”
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