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Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Despite our state housing a child immigrant jail, key Florida Democrats still won't support abolishing ICE

Posted By on Tue, Jul 3, 2018 at 1:43 PM

  • Photo by Joey Roulette
As of now, two key Florida Democrats would prefer to cater to the Ken Bones of the country rather than inspire the millions of constituents who don't vote because they feel disenfranchised by the current state of politics.

Asked whether they would support the "Abolish ICE," movement, which has gained tremendous steam among progressive Democratic candidates like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Florida Sen. Bill Nelson and Rep. Stephanie Murphy both recently stated that they're not on board with scrapping the government agency responsible for jailing immigrants who've committed low-level misdemeanors, or sometimes no crimes at all.

Despite visiting and speaking out against the ICE facility in Homestead that currently houses 1,000 immigrant children, Nelson quipped to the Tampa Bay Times, "We should not abolish ICE. We ought to abolish Trump."     Winter Park-based Rep. Stephanie Murphy, whose primary challenger is Chardo Richardson, an early critic of ICE, seemed to echo Nelson's feelings in a statement to the Times.

"Although ICE is clearly in need of significant reform, abolishing the agency charged with executing the administration's misguided policies won't change the policies. It is the policies, and the people making them, that need to change," said her spokesperson to the paper.

On a related note, this isn't the first time Murphy's views on immigration have skewed right. Last year, the congresswoman voted for the controversial Kate's Law, a policy that unnecessarily imposes harsh penalties for petty misdemeanors like loitering or driving a car without a license, which can now lead up to a possible 10-year prison sentence for immigrants, and blocks immigrants’ ability to challenge prior removal orders, which is a clear violation of the constitutional right to due process.

At this point, it would appear that any policy left of Mitt Romney's hot dog is out of the question for Murphy and Nelson.

Never mind the fact the main argument for defending ICE is that they arrest violent criminals, which is a small percentage of their arrests and something literally any local law enforcement agency can do, or that ICE was founded on the opportunistic fear of brown people following 9/11, or more importantly that the agency is a non-stop barrage of human rights-violations.

Perhaps someone should remind Nelson and Murphy that Florida witnessed the biggest spike in ICE arrests last year, that many immigrant families in our state still haven't been reunited, or that thousands of people showed up at the Families Belong Together rallies in Florida.

But no, let's just cater to the handful of voters who need an entire election cycle to decide whether or not it's dumb for Trump to say things like "we need a space force." 

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