Jun Myung Song
Today, Secretary of Department of Homeland Security (DHS) John Kelly stated that military force would not be utilized for the deportation of illegal immigrants. Activation of reserve of national guard forces for the deportation may be useful for the immediate action against the illegal immigrants who are residing in the United States, and it also may be helpful to warn the potential illegal immigrants who are seeking the opportunities to move into this country illegally. However, the downside is also clear. Because soldiers are not trained for the particular operations of immigration law enforcement, this may occur dangerous side-effects during the operations, and the photo of the scene can be a great source for the biased medias who are always prepared to bite the Trump administration. As a result, White House and DHS chose not to use the military force. This may be somewhat disappointing, but do not worry. The future of the deportation of illegal immigrants is still bright. The White House and DHS just chose the less extreme and more internal method to conduct the surgery for the America.
Although DHS did not go to the way of usage of the military, the department still has a plan to have more agents for the immigration agencies under the department. Custom and Border Protection (CBP) will hire 5,000 more agents, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will hire 10,000 more agents, and the plan has been authorized from the legislative branch. Secretary Kelly mentioned that this would take coming years because they need the processes for the hiring and training of the candidates. Still, it is fine; decent agents don’t descend from the sky. Gradually DHS will finalize the new hiring processes, and the new agents will be the new force of the law enforcement. But here is the question. Why 5,000 more agents for the CBP, and why 10,000 more agents for ICE?
To understand why we may need to study about the characters of ICE and CBP.
CBP is the frontline standers of the United States immigration law enforcement. Famously decorated organization; the United States Border Patrol is in this agency, and the majorities of the added agents would fill the demands of the Border Patrol. Currently, CBP has 58,000 employees under its body, and approximately 63,000 employees would be activated within few coming years. This hiring project would keep the organization as the biggest federal agency in the United States, and this is because they are not the organization only for the border protection or screening the immigrants. Like you may already know from their name, they are dealing with the customs, and this is a huge chunk of the agency. About illegal immigration, the Border Patrols would be in charge, and regarding the illegal trade, mostly the customs division would be in responsibility. In summary, they are dealing with the events or the people from the outside of the United States.
Now, what is the ICE? ICE is more like internal agency of the United States immigration law enforcement. Currently, they have around 15,000 agents in their organization. Criminal investigations regarding immigrations and deportation of the aliens who are already in the United States is their accountability. Also, they have the authorized power to deport the recent illegal arrivals who caught near the border without the court procedure. (This is pretty strong power, indeed) The White House and DHS desperately want to add more forces in this agency because simply they do not have enough people in their organization to deal with the problems that they are in charge. They are doing outstanding in the removal of illegal immigrants who are criminals. According to the report from ICE, they removed 92% of the illegal immigrants who are criminals in the fiscal year of 2016. However, removal of the criminals is not the satisfactory performance of ICE. ICE should be able to remove the immigrants who are not valid to be here, and obviously, they just do not have the force to conduct the operation to bring the illegal immigrants to the court.
Also, according to Pew Research, the character of the illegal immigrants is changing. In 2014, 66% of the illegal immigrants had resided in the United States over ten years, and 14%of the illegal immigrants had lived in the United States less than five years. The data shows the fact that the portion of the illegal immigrants who have lived in this country long-term is growing up. This indicates protecting our border is not enough to solve the illegal immigration problem. Internal operations should be highlighted to solve the problem. Regarding this issue, increasing the number of ICE agents would be a great decision, and this clearly shows that White House and DHS are following up the changing characters of the illegal immigration. Increased number of the agents will give the capabilities to ICE to operate various removal projects, and this will make the country more legal based country.
Immigrants are the source of the creativity, intelligence, and high-value of the United States, and this character shall not be altered easily. However, illegal immigrants did not follow the needed legal procedures which legal immigrants have followed. If the United States give more favor to the illegal immigrants than legal immigrants, we cannot call the country as the greatest country in the human history. I believe the fact the United States is the greatest country in the human history, and I think it is about time to conduct the operation to recover the fairness in the immigration system. Luckily, the recently projected plan seems to bring the bright future of the deportation.