Axne Can’t Shake Claims She Wants to Abolish ICE

Cindy Axne, the Democrat candidate for Congress in the 3rd Congressional district, released a statement on the murder of Mollie Tibbetts, which neither mentioned nor even alluded to the fact that the murderer was an illegal alien:

My heart breaks for the parents, family and friends of Mollie Tibbetts. As a parent, I mourn with them and our entire community in the wake of this unspeakable tragedy. Thank you to our law enforcement, who worked day and night to solve this crime. We must be resolute in our commitment to keeping our community and our children safe.

Her statement of 21 August is fine as far as it goes, expressing sympathy for the survivors and thanks to law enforcement, but it does not go very far. Perhaps an inquisitive reporter will ask her what she meant when she advocated for a “commitment to keeping our community and our children safe.”

Her campaign website states: “Cindy knows our immigration system is broken. She also knows…that calls to abolish ICE won’t solve this problem.” In response to a recent telephone poll which suggests that she wants to abolish ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement), Axne has asserted that she has never supported the abolition of the agency (

ICE is responsible for immigration enforcement in the interior of the country; it is the agency which locates and removes illegal aliens who commit crimes, including those who use fraudulent documents in order to work in the U.S.; it also undertakes to stop the trafficking of persons, including children, for sexual purposes, and to prevent the illegal export of technology.

On her website Axne seems to be trying to appeal to independent voters by giving the impression that she wants to clamp down on illegal immigration:

Cindy believes that comprehensive reform must start with strengthening our borders. We need stronger vetting, more agents on the border and innovative technology including aerial drones, in order to better secure our borders and save taxpayer dollars.

The most glaring omission in her plan for “strengthening our borders” is any funding for a wall. If we accept her statements at face value, she seems to want stronger borders, relatively speaking, but not a strong border, in absolute terms: if she wanted a strong border, after all, she could be for a wall.

It is not clear what she means by calling for “stronger vetting” at the border; probably, being a liberal Democrat, she means that we should keep out illegal immigrants who can be determined to be criminals, but let the rest waltz into the country. There is indeed a need for “stronger vetting” at the border: not of illegal immigrants, who should be refused entry without any vetting at all, but of those making false claims for asylum, who are coached on what to say; it seems unlikely, however, that Axne as a Democrat is alluding to the need for a skeptical scrutiny of these bogus asylum claims.

Nor is it clear how Axne plans to “save taxpayer dollars” after hiring “more agents” and procuring “innovative technology including aerial drones”; by investing in a wall, a one-time expense, it would be possible to get by with a lot less technology and a substantially smaller personnel and thus avoid heavy recurrent expenses on those items.

Just as Axne is silent about building a wall, she is silent on the need for changing the ridiculous catch-and-release policy pursued at the border: if we had a wall which greatly reduced the number of illegal aliens crossing the southern border, the continuation of that policy would matter less; as it is, in the absence of a wall, the need to change that policy is especially urgent. If that practice were ended, for example, it would make sense to hire more agents in the absence of a wall, since then the illegal aliens who were caught would be prevented from entering or staying in the country, being released across the border which they had violated, or were attempting to violate.

The changes which Axne is promoting, more agents and technology, in the current situation—no wall in many areas and the catch-and-release policy everywhere in effect—would do nothing to reduce illegal immigration: they would rather streamline the processing of illegal aliens at the border, reducing the wait-time between the “catch” and the “release”! In general, increasing the efficiency of the federal government is a good idea, but in the present case, where the federal government is helping Third World emigrants disappear in the interior of the country, speeding up their activity, so that illegal entry is less onerous for the lawbreakers, is not in the national interest.

Contradictions also abound when Axne addresses the treatment of illegal aliens already here:

Cindy is ready to work with Democrats and Republicans in order to pass a bipartisan immigration reform that will strengthen border security, hold employers who hire undocumented immigrants accountable, provide a pathway to citizenship for individuals who pay their taxes and don’t have a criminal record, and crackdown [sic] on violent crime.

Nonsensically, she wants to “hold employers who hire undocumented immigrants accountable,” and at the same time to “provide a pathway to citizenship for individuals who pay their taxes and don’t have a criminal record”: but the “individuals” in question are the “undocumented immigrants” hired by the “employers” in question, whom she wants to “hold…accountable”! So her plan is to punish employers who hire illegals, which is fine, but to let the illegals themselves, who wouldn’t be in a position to pay taxes unless they were working without authorization, completely off the hook. In other words, she sets up a double standard: citizens who break the law are subject to prosecution; non-citizens who break the law are eligible for amnesty.

It is another contradiction for Axne to describe the illegal aliens to whom she would offer citizenship as ones “who pay their taxes and don’t have a criminal record,” since they all did commit at least one new crime, after the original act of illegal immigration, by working in the U.S. illegally; many also committed identity theft in order to pass muster with an employer who opted to conduct some sort of check on eligibility for employment; some, in addition, have illegally obtained public benefits; any who stayed in the U.S. without permission longer than six months became guilty of “unlawful presence” in the U.S., an offense which currently renders them ineligible for a green card.

A bill put forward by Democrats in Congress would actually decriminalize the act of illegally entry. Under current law, the first improper entry is a misdemeanor, while subsequent reentries are a low-level felony. Given her willingness to pretend that illegal aliens working in the U.S. potentially “don’t have a criminal record,” Axne should be asked whether she would vote for a bill to decriminalize illegal entry into the U.S., and whether she would decriminalize the other offenses typically committed by illegal aliens working here, in addition to giving amnesty to those already here.

Under the plan proposed by Axne, the murderer of Mollie Tibbetts, Cristhian Rivera, until last week would have been one of those provided “a pathway to citizenship”: since she chooses to disregard such acts as illegal immigration, working without authorization, and identity theft, she would tell Rivera to go to the head of the line and collect a green card, which would enable him to work in the U.S. legally and to become a citizen after five years.

The movement on the left to abolish ICE is spearheaded by prominent Democrats like Sens. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (NY), who will be commonly sighted in Iowa soon enough, since both are considered to be seeking the Democrat presidential nomination in 2020. One good way for Axne to put to bed the controversy over her support for the campaign to abolish ICE would be for her to announce that she will not endorse any candidate in the Iowa caucuses who favors the abolition of ICE; if, on the other hand, she cannot make that simple declarative statement, voters will rightly suspect that she would find a way to undermine ICE once in office.

Actions speak louder than words. The Democrat who started the campaign to abolish ICE is Sen. Gillibrand. Axne could dispel all doubts about where she stands on the abolition of ICE by denouncing Sen. Gillibrand for her reckless pandering to the Left, refusing further financial support from her, and by returning the campaign contributions which she has received from her “Off the Sidelines PAC”: a total of $10,000 so far, $5,000 on 4 April, and another $5,000 on 9 June. Unless and until Axne gives all the money back to Gillibrand and distances herself from that whackjob, her claims to be against the abolition of ICE are not to be believed.