Poll Shows Americans Think U.S. Postal Service Is The Best Federal Agency, ICE Is The Worst

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement make arrests in New York City.
John Moore / Getty Images

Americans love the U.S. Postal Service but aren’t too crazy about U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a new poll shows.

This week, the Pew Research Center released the results of a national poll about Americans’ opinions on the country’s federal agencies. The poll asked for their approval of 16 different federal agencies, finding that Americans view 14 agencies more favorably than unfavorably. One of the exceptions was ICE, the agency at the heart of a number of controversies related to Donald Trump’s tough border policy.

The survey found that 54 percent of Americans had an unfavorable view of ICE, while 42 percent viewed the agency favorably. As Pew noted, Republicans tended to give ICE good reviews while Democrats were not in favor.

“Attitudes toward ICE continue to largely break along partisan lines: While 70% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents have a favorable view of the agency, just 19% of Democrats and Democratic leaners say the same,” the report noted.

The divide comes as ICE has been through a series of very public controversies. The agency has been at the front line of President Trump’s crackdown on undocumented immigrants, carrying out a series of controversial raids earlier this year that led to widespread pushback.

A number of politicians and immigrant-rights advocates accused ICE of taking a heavy-handed approach, and the agency’s detention of immigrants has also been widely criticized. Earlier this year, as reported by Independent, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez told Instagram followers that the White House was operating “concentration camps” at the U.S.-Mexico border, sparking a national debate over whether her terminology was appropriate.

As NyMag reported, two dozen migrants have died in ICE custody since Donald Trump took office. A report from the Office of the Inspector General found that ICE detainees were kept in squalid, unsafe conditions that included 155 people crammed into a room meant to hold only 35.

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As the report noted, the agency’s own internal memos show that its health services department is “severely dysfunctional” and that its treatment of children was substandard.

“Thirty-seven children who had been separated from their parents were kept locked up in vans in a detention-center parking lot for up to 39 hours. Children kept in less blatantly unlawful confines recently lost access to classes, recreational activities, and legal aid, after the Trump administration ordered the cancellation of such services on budgetary grounds,” the report noted.

While Americans are not in favor of ICE, feelings toward the U.S. Postal Service are much different. The Pew poll found that 90 percent of Americans approve of their mail delivery service from the federal government, with just 8 percent saying they viewed it unfavorably.