(Shenandoah) -- Iowa Congressman David Young makes no bones about where he stands on calls to abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement--or ICE.
"Abolishing ICE is absolutely ridiculous," said Young. "That means open borders. That means catch and release. That means, essentially, we don't have border."
The Van Meter Republican made his comments in a recent interview on KMA's "Morning Line" program, in reaction to recent remarks by progressive activists and some congressional Democrats critical of the agency's role in separating illegal immigrants' families. President Trump, who defends ICE's actions, has threatened a government shutdown next month unless Congress approves funding for the U.S.-Mexican border wall as part of an immigration reform package. While rejecting any notion of a shutdown, Young says Trump's views on immigration are important.
"It's very, very important to the people I talk to here in the 3rd District--whether they're independents, Democrats or Republicans," said Young. "We are a sovereign nation. We need to know who's coming in, and who's coming out of our country--particularly who's coming in."
Young says ICE does more than just enforce immigration policy.
"We have Immigration and Customs Enforcement--ICE," said Young. "They have stopped human traffickers, and rescued children. They have stopped massive amount of drugs coming in--terrorist elements, as well. Some really, really bad people who want to do bad things to Americans. We've got to make sure our borders are secure. There's been a massive failure across the board on this."
The congressman adds there's a way to enforce immigration policy, and show compassion for families at the same time.
"The folks at ICE who put their lives on the line every day to protect Americans, they're doing their job," he said. "If the law is not something we see is working at any given time, or isn't as compassionate as some people would like, then we can change that. I think that you can enforce the law, and be compassionate at the same time, and keep families together, and give them that dignity. At the same time, make sure that we have enforcement of the rules on the books, to recognize that we are a sovereign country, with a legal way to come into America, and that there's an illegal way, and we should not be rewarding illegality."
The most recent development regarding immigration occurred over the weekend, when a federal judge reaffirmed his ruling that the Trump administration must reinstate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program--or DACA--that has shielded hundreds of thousands of young immigrants from deportation. U.S. District Judge John D. Bates in Washington gave the administration 20 days to decide if it wants to appeal.