Schneider: Taking a stand on ICE

Earlier this week, the House of Representatives took up a measure to support Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) — the agency tasked with carrying out certain immigration and security laws passed by Congress. Recently there has been a lot of controversy surrounding ICE and competing resolutions to abolish the agency or to support it have been making their way through Congress.

As someone who fled a communist dictatorship, perhaps no one can appreciate the value of immigration more than me. Having escaped oppression and being welcomed in the United States, I then went to West Point weeks after becoming a U.S. citizen. I joined the Special Forces, became a Green Beret, and served 13 years active duty and reserves. As an immigrant, proud American citizen, and former Army officer, I say Congressman Seth Moulton is a political coward. Moulton’s vote – or lack thereof – on the ICE resolution was no less than an act of political weakness, and he should be ashamed. Voting “present” and taking no stand on such an important bill shows what a self-serving politician Seth Moulton is.

If Moulton wants to support ICE because the agency is doing a good job and carrying out the law then he should vote to support the agency. Then, if he feels ICE is acting inappropriately or not as intended by law, he should sponsor legislation to reform the department or exercise greater Congress’ oversight to hold people accountable.

If he thinks ICE should be abolished he should vote “No” on the resolution to support the agency and instead vote for the resolution to abolish ICE. He might then have to explain how eliminating Immigration and Customs Enforcement will result in a positive outcome for our congressional district, our country, and the rule of law.

But no matter what, Moulton should have cast a vote. These are crucial issues and we, the people, his constituents, deserve to know where he stands. “Self-Serving Seth’s” suave spin rings hollow. Taking a tangible action and standing up to have his vote counted would have been the courageous, and the right thing to do. In Congress, you’ll never see me vote “present.” And on this resolution, as an immigrant myself, I would have voted to support ICE.

Joe Schneider is a father, veteran, West Point and Harvard graduate, and small business owner who is running for Congress to end partisan politics and bring independent leadership to Washington DC.

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