Congressman Young,

A follow up to your most recent 60-second survey on ICE: An article that just ran in the Diocese of Des Moines’ ‘Catholic Mirror’ ( highlights the story of a Mexican-American family of mixed citizenship whose father and breadwinner was apprehended and deported by ICE agents who were looking for another (presumably criminal) man. Recently a contractor doing work for me in my house told me that he lost an employee – a true artisan with skills and customer service I truly valued – due to ‘documentation issues.’ My friend who works for an elementary school in Central Iowa told me the story of ICE agents who parked outside of a school and waited for a husband and wife to drop their kids off at school, followed the vehicle out of the school lot, and arrested and deported the parents.

When myself and others advocate for closing down ICE these are the un-American, un-Christian stories we are thinking about. If every hispanic looking individual in our country has to be able to prove citizenship to ICE just merely for going through their daily work and school lives then all of our constitutional rights are being violated. These are not just isolated incidents drummed up by the president’s rhetoric. ICE agents are clearly acting in a self-directed and institutional form of racial profiling. An agency of the government that is less than 20 years old, yet has become this problematic should be disbanded and re-organized.

I urge you and your colleagues in the House to get serious about immigration reform. We are losing countless talented and hard working Iowans because of the racist rancor coming from isolated areas of the GOP and the White House. The majority of us want political leaders like the late Governor Ray who saw the value and opportunity for all of us in welcoming immigrants.

Which kind of leader will you be?