Image: AP

On Tuesday, more than 100 state and local elected officials from 20 states issued a joint statement calling for the abolition of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

The Intercept reported that signees included state legislators from Arizona, Connecticut, Illinois, Rhode Island, and New Mexico. The statement reads, in part:

‚ÄúWhile this escalation of policy is particularly devastating and inhumane, it is part of a larger crisis that has been building in our communities for years because of the rampant and brutal enforcement tactics of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the lawless federal agency that, since its creation in 2002, has terrorized immigrants and separated families in the communities we live in and represent.‚ÄĚ

The statement also makes clear that ‚ÄúThe experiment that is ICE has failed, and must be ended as soon as possible.‚ÄĚ

Several high-profile politicians‚ÄĒlike Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and New York gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon (who just tonight proudly labeled herself a socialist democrat)‚ÄĒhave already come out in favor of ditching the federal agency, a demand that has grown far louder since the Trump administration began enforcing its anti-immigrant ‚Äúzero-tolerance‚ÄĚ agenda.

Meanwhile, the news on immigration policy in the United States remains beyond bleak. Slate reported on Tuesday that the Office of Refugee Resettlement is gearing up for a possible next wave of family separations, according to internal documents.

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To make matters even more horrific, these documents indicate separation means more beds for migrant children, leading to budgetary calculations of the most heartless kind. The Department of Health and Human Services (of which ORR is a part) is reportedly planning to pay for separating families by shifted money away from the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program whose stated mission is to provide care for uninsured and underinsured people living with HIV, as well as from ‚Äúprograms for refugee resettlement.‚ÄĚ To be clear, according to Slate, ‚ÄúThe documents do not indicate that ORR officials have specific knowledge that family separations will increase but do show that the agency is preparing for the possibility.‚ÄĚ

And The Daily Beast reported on Tuesday evening that the U.S. government recently informed four migrant women that they would have to pay for DNA tests to confirm they are related to their children (and in one of these cases, a brother), who were separated from them at the border. This is according to the shelter where the women were housed.