When We Listen to Directly Impacted Immigrants, We Learn Why ‘Fixing’ ICE is Not Enough

Anabel Mendoza Press Releases

For Immediate Release
Contact: José Alonso Muñoz | jose@unitedwedream.org | 202.810.0746

Washington, D.C. – Last week, in response to a Boston Globe op-ed that called for the reform of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), immigrant youth of United We Dream (UWD) moved quickly to respond. We wrote a “letter to the editor” explaining why reform is not enough and abolishing ICE is the only solution. After a week of no response from the Globe about whether our letter would be published, we decided to publish it ourselves below so you can see.

LTE’s are known to be short and we kept it exactly as we shared it with the Globe, but if you’d like to read more on why we must abolish ICE, check out UWD’s very own Cristina Jiménez Moreta and Cynthia Garcia’s piece in the Abolition for the People series, a project produced by Kaepernick Publishings.

UWD’s letter to the Boston Globe on abolishing ICE:

When We Listen to Directly Impacted Immigrants, We Learn Why ‘Fixing’ ICE is Not Enough

The movement to abolish ICE is grounded in the lived experiences of abuse immigrants have endured at the hands of immigration enforcement. Under the current administration, immigration enforcement has been responsible for the deaths of 95 immigrants in detention camps, the forced sterilization of immigrant women, the separation of families and the outbreak of COVID-19 inside ICE facilities that has killed eight immigrants to date. These atrocities emphasize that ICE is plagued by system-wide abuses which are made worse by the fact that those directly responsible are not held accountable.

Facing these constant and never-ending attacks, immigrants have called to dismantle ICE & CBP because we’ve seen and felt how the system values profit over our lives. Since its creation, the agencies’ budget has grown to $381 billion, and immigrants like us have been the collateral to their corrupt and racist political motivations. The call to abolish ICE is a direct acknowledgment that a system rooted in white supremacy with no regard for human life, is a system that will continue to defend these abuses and cannot be reformed.

Contrary to what some calling for “reform” over abolishment have said, a completely new approach to immigration is possible when we follow the leadership and vision of those closest to the pain. With our voices at the forefront of these conversations, we can reimagine an immigration system that is committed to our shared values, and rooted in policies that allow everyone the opportunity to live free and thrive.


United We Dream is the largest immigrant youth-led organization in the nation, a powerful network made up of over 400,000 members and 48 affiliate organizations across 26 states. UWD’s vision is to build a multi-racial, multi-ethnic movement of young people who organize and advocate at the local and national levels for the dignity and justice of immigrants and communities of color in the United States.