by Daily News Editorial Board
On July 4, Therese Patricia Okoumou chose to use the towering symbol of a welcoming America to protest President Trump’s cruel policies separating asylum-seeking parents from their children. We couldn’t sympathize more with the cause — or less with how she acted on it, splintering from a group protest under the misguided and viral slogan “Abolish ICE.”
On America’s birthday, Okoumou interrupted thousands in the act of pilgrimage to the Statue of Liberty. She took an urgent and righteous cause and squandered it on self-indulgent symbolism practically begging misinterpretation that works in Trump’s favor.
So it goes with the cheap social-media strewn slogan “Abolish ICE,” adopted in recent weeks by politicians from wunderkind congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to Mayor de Blasio and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.
Pressed to explain — do they really mean eradicating law enforcement from the border, allowing anyone to cross at any time? — they’ll clarify of course not, then mumble pablum about building a better police force.
But what America hears is the phrase they’ve parroted — sloganeering that satisfies hectoring from the far left, but, like a sugar rush, fades quickly and is ultimately unhealthy.
Not unlike NFL kneelers who confusingly protest police killings of black Americans with photo ops appearing to disrespect the national anthem and flag, the Abolish ICE-ers provide fodder for Trump to rally voters for the midterms.
Sad to have to spell this out, but: Immigration and Customs Enforcement merely implements rules and regulations from the Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security, which Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen have used to turn the border into a vast stage for sadism. Abolishing ICE would do nothing.
The sloganeering obscures the incompetence and savagery of Trump’s policies and paints Democrats as indifferent to enforcement at the border, period. Don’t fall for the trap.
NY Daily News · by Daily News Editorial Board