Elizabeth Warren Unveils New Immigration Plan Vowing to Remake ICE Ahead of Planned Weekend ICE Raids
Ahead of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent's planned arrest of thousands of undocumented migrants this weekend, 2020 presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) unveiled a sweeping new immigration reform plan on Thursday, which vows to "eliminate abusive enforcement" by decriminalizing illegal border crossings, as well as remodel ICE "from top to bottom."
The extensive plan, released on Medium ahead of Warren's campaign appearance at the League of United Latin American Citizens' annual conference, proposes to eliminate abusive enforcement by decriminalizing migration and refocusing enforcement on serious criminal activity. It also promises to remake U.S. Customs and Border Protection and ICE " in a way that reflects our values."
"I'll hold immigration enforcement to the same due process standards as other law enforcement agencies — no more warrantless arrests or stops deep in the interior of our country," Warren wrote. "I'll reshape CBP and ICE from top to bottom, focusing their efforts on homeland security efforts like screening cargo, identifying counterfeit goods, and preventing smuggling and trafficking. And to change the culture, I'll insist on transparency and strengthen the authorities of independent internal watchdogs to prevent future abuses."
Warren also vowed to create a Department of Justice task force to investigate the abuses perpetrated by the Trump administration against migrants if she is elected in 2020. "Let there be no ambiguity on this: if you are violating the basic rights of immigrants, now or in the future, a Warren administration will hold you accountable," the senator warned.
The unveiling of Warrens immigration policies comes as ICE agents are reportedly preparing for a series of nationwide raids targeting at least 2,000 undocumented immigrants listed for deportation. The sweep, planned to begin on Sunday, is expected to result in thousands of deportations from the following 10 cities: San Francisco, Los Angeles, Houston, Denver, Miami, New York City, Baltimore, Chicago, New Orleans and Atlanta.
Commenting on the raids, Trump told reporters: "I don't call them raids. I say they came in illegally. We're bringing them out legally. These are people where we have the papers, we've gone through the court system. They'll be starting fairly soon."
Warren's warning also follows a series of recent reports detailing the abuse and mistreatment of undocumented immigrants and asylum-seekers being held at detention centers along the southern U.S.-Mexico border.
The 70-year-old Democratic presidential candidate has risen to second place in various polls in recent weeks due to her policy-focused campaign, which includes proposed solutions to a range of issues such as solving the student debt crisis, creating a better economy for women of color and better access to affordable child care, among other things.
However, her immigration plan to reform the entire system is by far her most ambitious. "Immigrants have always been a vital source of American strength," Warren wrote in the Medium post. "They grow our economy and make our communities richer and more diverse. They are our neighbors, our colleagues, and our friends — and every bit as much a part of America as those who were born in the United States."