Americans Want Tough But Sensible Immigration Laws

KUT's Jennifer Stayton spoke to O'Rourke on his way to campaign in Austin on Wednesday.

This transcript has been lightly edited for clarity. We are spending a lot of money to punish families for nonviolent offenses - for doing a perfectly rational thing like trying to find more work, or trying to get their children out of violent, cartel, civil war-ridden countries. The problem is that the agency is responsible for a core government function: enforcing the nation's immigration laws. "Don't blame law enforcement for Congress' inaction". In recent weeks, more politicians have endorsed a frequent rally change to "Abolish ICE".

O'Rourke: Look, I am open. "I don't support open borders".

Sanders, who previously hedged on the issue when asked during a CNN interview, pointed out in his statement Tuesday that he had voted in 2002 against the creation of ICE and its parent agency, the Department of Homeland Security.

That reform, he said "will mean restructuring the agencies that enforce our immigration laws, including ICE". Such rhetoric could prove unhelpful to the 10 Democratic senators seeking re-election this fall in states Trump carried in 2016, where conservative views on immigration prevail.

"We can envision a blueprint for alternatives to detention" of the undocumented, the organizer said.

"We tried to negotiate the opening of this door and we ended up making 7 arrests-didn't want to arrest anyone, but we had to,"Deputy Commissioner of Special Operations Dennis Wilson said".

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O'Rourke: I would start by ensuring that Dreamers - more than a million across the country, nearly 200,000 in the state of Texas - are immediately protected from deportation, and then on the same day, granted US citizenship so that they can contribute to their full potential. They don't know it's hard. They want to keep people out.

In cases where parents came to the border with children, that meant separating them because there aren't family detention spaces in the criminal justice system.

"Alright, it doesn't seem like you're directly answering the question about whether or not you'd like to see that be ICE or someone else", Berman noted.

ICE now has more than 20,000 employees and has a presence in all 50 states.

O'Rourke said he's willing to work with lawmakers who wish to abolish ICE, calling their intent "noble" and adding that he would also work with those who want to reform the agency. I want to make sure that we continue to secure this country by making smart investments, such as those at our ports of entry.

Is the debate over ICE's existence worth having? "These guys, they walk into those areas, and they take them out so fast", he said.

"How can the Democrats, who are weak on the Border and weak on Crime, do well in November", the president wrote on Twitter. Are those colleagues of yours wrong to call for that specific action?

Fifty percent attributed the administration's policies to "sincere interest", while 44 percent argued that they're based on "racist beliefs".

Trump blamed Democrats for not being supportive of the country's Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, which helps patrol the border.

Another Trump critic, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of NY, also called for abolition of ICE, saying, "I don't think ICE today is working as intended".

For Kenney, the "Occupy ICE" encampment made it less than three days before protesters were shoved to the ground and handcuffed with zip-ties, just steps from the Police Department's "Roundhouse" headquarters. I will not allow the flawless to become the enemy of the good.

The Trump administration has flatly rejected that option, saying it would amount to "catch and release" - when illegal immigrants are processed and released into the community on the usually false hope that they will return for their deportation hearings.

  • Jon Douglas