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.

Those are just a sampling of the ways donors can get involved. The need has never been greater, both for our agents and their rescued victims, and the ICE Foundation is rushing to meet it.

Scholarships for Survivors of human trafficking

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Effective December 31, 2018, the Board of the ICE Foundation recently voted to officially close down the foundation and cease all operations.  However, an entirely new and separate organization, the Homeland Security Philanthropy Council, has been created and will take up many of the positive legacy programs of the former ICE Foundation.  The Homeland Security Philanthropy Council will be similar to the ICE Foundation but will assume a broader remit to assist law enforcement agencies within the Department of Homeland Security. ICE Foundation Executive Director James Barchiesi and several ICE Foundation Board members will help with the transition and continue their philanthropic efforts by supporting the Homeland Security Philanthropy Council.  However, it is important to clarify that the ICE Foundation will sunset at the end of 2018 and that the Homeland Security Philanthropy Council will be a new entity without any official connection to the former ICE Foundation. The ICE Foundation Board members would like to sincerely thank the many generous supporters of the ICE Foundation who have assisted our efforts over the years to support the ICE mission and the men and women of ICE and their families.

For further information about the Homeland Security Philanthropy Council please see their website