Republicans continue to lie about ICE "protecting" America and how, without them, we would have "open borders" overrun with hordes of vicious animals that, to a normal person, look suspiciously like people fleeing violence in Central America.
The press would desperately like for us to believe that Donald Trump is a white nationalist aberration. They would very much like us to believe that the Republican Party is being held hostage and that, gee whiz!, they're just as much a victim of Trump as the rest of us!
This is utter bullshit and the ICE/open border lie proves it.
Who patrols the border? Hint: Not ICE
Let's start with the most basic part of the lie: ICE doesn't actually have anything to do with the border. That would be Customs and Border Protection. Surprisingly, no one is demanding CBP be abolished. That's because no one actually wants open borders. Open borders are a fiction the right has invented to terrify gullible white Republican voters.
Next, stepping back into the distant past of 2002, before ICE existed and we see America did not, in fact, have open borders. Illegal immigration ebbed and flowed as the economy did (just like now). The flow of drugs was steady, just like now. Immigrant crime was lower than the national average, just like now. ICE is simply replicating work that done by other law enforcement agencies. Its absence clearly would not enable a wave of "crime, drugs, and terrorism" as the GOP claims.
Third, unlike much of the GOP's previous dog whistle rhetoric, the "open borders" lie is a white nationalist bull horn. This is about as subtle as a sledgehammer.
Open Borders? More like open white nationalism
The left is hammering the "abolish ICE" talking point because ICE has become the perfect symbol of Trump's white nationalist agenda. These are the people tearing babies away from their mothers and putting them in cages for weeks or months on end. They're the same people dragging legal residents from their homes and deporting them. Reports of systemic abuse are rampant and have been since ICE was first created.
On the other hand, when the GOP lies about open borders, they are telling their white Republican voters that without ICE, more brown people will be coming to America. They know for a fact that they're lying about drugs and crime and terrorism. But ICE is terrorizing Latino communities and white Republican voters are eating it up with a spoon. For them, brown children in cages is mana from heaven. ICE agents are their avenging angels, punishing brown skin for daring to enter their white America.
There's no going back now
When Trump is gone, the media will declare that the Republican Party is now "back to normal." Nothing to see here, folks, all the white nationalist fascism left the building when Trump was dragged out kicking and screaming that the 2020 election was rigged! Now we can all get back to how things used to be with both sides being exactly the same and no one has to answer for anything that happened.
But as Max Boot, a long time Republican operative just wrote when he urged Republicans to abandon the party:
You used to belong to a conservative party with a white-nationalist fringe. Now it’s a white-nationalist party with a conservative fringe.
As I told my wife yesterday when I read that to her, "It's not just no name bloggers like me saying it anymore. This was in the Washington Post." The Republican Party has fully embraced white nationalism and the louder they shout their open borders lie, the less credibility anyone (I'm looking at you, Chris Cillizza!) blaming Trump will have. Meanwhile, pay attention to who is whining about open borders and how they're using the lie. I promise you will find they're not talking about anything other than keeping America as white as possible.