Every year, ICE (Immigration Customs Enforcement) deports thousands of undocumented immigrants and American citizens. They rip innocent Americans who immigrated here at very young ages away from their families, businesses, and lives. ICE deports many of these Americans to countries in which they have little knowledge of or connection too.

Last year, Cambodian refugee Sothy Kum was deported…ripped away from his family, country, and way of life. Not only was his identity taken, but also his will to live. Kum, who immigrated to the United States at a very young age, remembers little of the distant land where he came from. He remembers little of the language, customs, or people. Kum had grown accustomed to a society without impenetrable traffic, potent garbage fumes, and high poverty rates. But most of all, Kum had started a family, one in which he now only talks to by phone for a small portion of the day.

Last week, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi agreed to give and extra seven-hundred million dollars towards Trump’s border walls if there is a cap on the beds ICE has. While it may seem silly, the number of beds held by ICE directly impacts how many people they can detain and then support. Pelosi has proposed to limit the number of beds to sixteen-thousand five-hundred, a number in which forces ICE to stop deporting cultured Americans like Kum.

Deportation is not the solution. Not only do many undocumented immigrants fulfill jobs that many Americans won’t take, keeping our economy alive, many of them are cultured Americans who remember little of their past. People came to the United States seeking asylum and refuge. Today, people may as well stay in their home country, as the perilous journey to “freedom” has no guarantee of success. When ICE deports an American who has resided in the United States for years, they sign their death warrants. ICE willingly sends innocent people to countries plagued with gang violence and deathly situations. A piece of paper doesn’t make someone American, nor does the color of their skin. Being American is intangible. It’s not a paper, document…it’s a feeling, a culture.

ICE goes against the very principle stated in the Constitution: “We hold these truths to be self evident, all men are created equal.” America was founded on this. Most of the immigrants deported by ICE were raised in the United States. They identify themselves as American Citizens, as everything about them is American.

ICE was created to protect the United States, yet it looks like ICE is simply painting a picture of their America. ICE removes the people that fuel innovation, and ICE removes those who are the different from the masses, creating a country with little diversity. Creating a country that simply doesn’t represent American ideals.

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