On Monday, August 20, President Donald J. Trump delivered a message to America’s State and Local leaders, urging them to stand with the heroic men and women of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). These officers enforce our legal immigration system and preserve our national security as the first line of defense at our border. They deeply deserve our gratitude.
Read the President’s full letter below.
Dear America’s State and Local Leaders:
Every day, the heroic men and women of the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) bravely put their safety on the line to protect our families, our communities, and our Nation. I urge you to join with the American people in applauding their sacrifice for our Nation and thanking them as they serve shoulder-to-shoulder with State and local law enforcement across the country. These courageous public servants and their families deserve to know that our elected leaders at every level support them as they fulfill their oath to defend and protect the United States.
On their behalf, I ask you to join me in publicly expressing your support for the men and women of ICE and CBP. Through letters, public statements, op-eds, resolutions, and events, we can give voice to our Nation’s longstanding tradition of honoring the public servants who protect our communities and our way of life. I also ask that each State and local jurisdiction safeguard their citizens and support the missions of ICE and CBP by voluntarily complying with Federal law and cooperating with both organizations in removing dangerous criminal aliens from our communities. Without your cooperation, violent criminal members of MS-13, drug cartels, and other transnational criminal organizations will continue to export terror, bloodshed, and suffering into our most vulnerable communities.
Tragically, the brave men and women of ICE have recently been subjected to a nationwide campaign of smears, insults, and attacks by politicians shamelessly catering to the extreme elements in our society that desire lawlessness and anarchy. Innocent Americans have watched as organized agitators defaced public property, obstructed the execution of our laws, slandered law enforcement personnel, blocked civilian access to public spaces, and created a hostile environment for our officers, agents, and support personnel. These horrendous assaults are no-doubt spurred on by the dangerous ”Abolish ICE” movement—a movement to abolish our borders entirely.
The most recent assaults include the repugnant hostility directed toward selfless ICE employees in Portland, Oregon, and the verbal abuse suffered by ICE employees in Louisville, Kentucky. Yet, while anarchist protestors hurl vicious insults at ICE officers in Portland and other disturbing episodes nationwide, those same ICE officers continue to dutifully remove some ofthe most dangerous and violent individuals from the communities they protect—putting their lives on the line in the process.
Current statistics show that transnational criminal threats are inflicting tremendous pain on communities large and small throughout our Nation. In Fiscal Year 2017, ICE arrested more than 125,000 aliens with criminal records: Among the crimes were roughly 48,000 assault offenses, 12,000 sexual offenses, 11,000 weapons offenses, and 1,900 homicides. Abolishing ICE effectively means no enforcement, no deportations, and no borders—and would result in massive crime, huge loss of life, colossal economic hardship for American workers, and lawless anarchy.
We also must not forget the important role that ICE and CBP play in preventing terrorism. On September 11, 2001, we suffered the worst terrorist attacks in our Nation’s history. The attacks were carried out by foreign nationals who exploited our lax immigration laws and defrauded our immigration system in order to murder nearly 3,000 innocent people.
The United States proudly welcomes newcomers who contribute to our society, uphold our values, and obey our laws. In order to have a functioning legal immigration system that serves America’s national interests, we must have rules, laws, conditions, and procedures for entry into the United States—and the violation of these laws and rules must be enforced. Failing to do so hurts immigrants, hurts American families, and hurts the entire Nation.
Each of you has a chance and a duty to protect your communities and your constituents. I urge you to work with us, and with our brave ICE and CBP officers, to achieve that goal for the sake of all Americans, from all walks of life and from every background.
Donald J. Trump