When it comes to immigration issues, it’s fair to say that tensions run more than a little hot. And the president doesn’t lower the temperature in this debate with his often over-the-top rhetoric.

But after rightly pushing the administration off the zero-tolerance policy that had separated 2,000 families, it’s actually the president’s opponents who are taking things a little too far. Some Democratic members of Congress and others are now calling for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (better known as ICE) to be eliminated.

We should all take a deep breath here.

ICE is still a relatively new agency. It was formed in 2003 as part of the creation of the Department of Homeland Security. It actually stands as a smart consolidation of the functions and jurisdiction of several border enforcement agencies.

The purview for ICE is not limited to the apprehension and arrest of those crossing the border illegally. The agency also investigates border gang activity, human trafficking, arms and human smuggling, as well as commercial fraud and theft, money laundering and cash smuggling. Those are critical functions of government and necessary for the safety and security of the United States.

“Abolish ICE!” may make for good sound-bite politics aimed at a small base of voters, but what value does it have? It’s little different than when Republicans, looking to stoke anger within the base, yammer about abolishing the IRS or shutting down the Education Department. Behind the rhetoric, there are hardly any tangible solutions.

But let’s assume for a moment that some people get their way and ICE is abolished. What happens then? Even those proposing such an idea must concede that another agency would have to take over the duties of ICE and, as a result, likely necessitate hiring many of the same people who work for ICE now.

The truth is that ICE agents have a tough job. Many of them have to see up close the faces of mothers, fathers and children who are seeking a better life every day. They have to make difficult decisions, and they are often directed to do so by a bureaucracy in Washington.

Abolishing ICE may sound like a good idea to people who are removed from border realities or are interested in scoring political points against President Donald Trump. But at bottom it is a ploy that turns attention away from the fact that leaders in Washington aren’t willing to sit down and do the hard work of creating better immigration policy.

That would benefit everyone in the long run and eliminate the absurdity of calling for doing away with an important government law enforcement and investigative agency.

Editorial by The Dallas Morning News

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