How to treat our borders has become the most divisive issue in the early presidency of Donald Trump. While it feels, in many ways, like we’re nearing a pivotal moment in our country’s history (and its future), on the ground level, protecting our borders looks much the same as it has since 9/11: chaotic, relentless and life-threatening.
Challenges tend to be distilled down to a 60-second news segment that’s discussed for a night and then largely forgotten. We began paying closer attention as they became more frequent. But for every major incident that earns headlines, there are tens of others that remain in obscurity. After all, we’re not facing a single threat at a time. Every hour, every day, it’s an onslaught from terrorists, drug cartels, human traffickers and illegal immigrants. And even that’s merely scratching the surface.
Regardless of your stance, it’s critical that we unite behind the agents of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, perhaps now more than ever. As we debate the merits of remaining a guardian nation, those agents are waging a war—wars, more accurately—in which they’re being out-spent, out-manned and out-gunned.
The foundation works, free of political bias, to ensure that they and their families, as well as those rescued by their operations, are supported. The ICE Officers’ Assistance Fund, for one, was established to provide financial aid when the need in an agent’s life is unexpected and urgent. The Granting Courage Initiative, a scholarship for survivors of human trafficking, is a bold new concept in aftercare. It’s not just enabling the recipients to lead independent lives, it’s empowering them to grow into tomorrow’s advocates by connecting them with thriving survivors, as well as community leaders and professionals.