ICE Feels ‘Liberated’ Under Trump, ‘Having Fun’
ICE is turning into Trump’s version of HItler’s Gestapo agents. They feel a ‘new freedom’ under Herr Trump. ICE actually endorsed the Fuhrer in Chief-their very first ever. This tells you what they want in a President: someone who let’s them deport lots and lots of people, the more, the better.
“In Virginia, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents waited outside a church shelter where undocumented immigrants had gone to stay warm. In Texas and in Colorado, agents went into courthouses, looking for foreigners who had arrived for hearings on other matters.”
“At Kennedy International Airport in New York, passengers arriving after a five-hour flight from San Francisco were asked to show their documents before they were allowed to get off the plane.”
“The Trump administration’s far-reaching plan to arrest and deport vast numbers of undocumented immigrants has been introduced in dramatic fashion over the past month. And much of that task has fallen to thousands of ICE officers who are newly emboldened, newly empowered and already getting to work.”
“Gone are the Obama-era rules that required them to focus only on serious criminals. In Southern California, in one of the first major roundups during the Trump administration, officers detained 161 people with a wide range of felony and misdemeanor convictions, and 10 who had no criminal history at all.”
“Before, we used to be told, ‘You can’t arrest those people,’ and we’d be disciplined for being insubordinate if we did,” said a 10-year veteran of the agency who took part in the operation. “Now those people are priorities again. And there are a lot of them here.”
Yep, the ‘shackles are off’ as Sean Spicer says:
“Morale amongst our agents and officers has increased exponentially since the signing of the orders,” the unions representing ICE and Border Patrol agents said in a joint statement after President Trump issued the executive orders on immigration late last month.”
Yes, morale is up the shackles are off. It’s great to be out there deporting lots of people. The more deportations the higher the morale.
“But for those with ICE badges, perhaps the biggest change was the erasing of the Obama administration’s hierarchy of priorities, which forced agents to concentrate on deporting gang members and other violent and serious criminals, and mostly leave everyone else alone.”
“A whirlwind of activity has overtaken ICE headquarters in Washington in recent weeks, with employees attending back-to-back meetings about how to quickly carry out President Trump’s plans. “Some people are like: ‘This is great. Let’s give them all the tools they need,’” said a senior staff member at headquarters, who joined the department under the administration of George W. Bush.
But, the official added, “other people are a little bit more hesitant and fearful about how quickly things are moving.”
“Two officials in Washington said that the shift — and the new enthusiasm that has come with it — seems to have encouraged pro-Trump political comments and banter that struck the officials as brazen or gung-ho, like remarks about their jobs becoming “fun.” Those who take less of a hard line on unauthorized immigrants feel silenced, the officials said.”
“That first weekend after the Trump Muslim ban, there was word that some who were detained were asked about how they feel about Donald Trump. As if the wrong answer would get them into trouble. As if ICE is his political arm. And I guess it is-it did endorse him. There is nothing more un American than this loyalty oath thing.”
But this is a lot of fun. Deporting people. Holding them in a broom closet for hours or days. Demanding ideological fealty to the Great Leader.
And ICE clearly feels empowered. They held a popular children’s author from Australia for 2 hours recently. Hey, the more deportations the higher the morale.
“The Australian children’s book author Mem Fox has suggested she might never return to the US after she was detained and insulted by border control agents at Los Angeles airport.”
“Fox, who is famous worldwide for her best-selling books including Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes and Possum Magic, was en route to a conference in Milwaukee earlier this month when she was stopped.”
“She told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation she was detained for one hour and 40 minutes and questioned by border agents for 15 minutes in front of a room full of people – an experience that left her feeling like she had been physically assaulted.”
“I have never in my life been spoken to with such insolence, treated with such disdain, with so many insults and with so much gratuitous impoliteness,” Fox said.
“I felt like I had been physically assaulted which is why, when I got to my hotel room, I completely collapsed and sobbed like a baby, and I’m 70 years old.”
“The author attributed the aggressive questioning to border police who had been “turbocharged” by Donald Trump’s proposed travel ban.”
“Fox said she was questioned over her visa, despite having travelled to America 116 times before without incident. She was eventually granted access to the country.”
“After lodging a complaint over her treatment with the Australian embassy in Washington and the US embassy in Canberra, Fox received an emailed apology from US officials.”
“Fox said she was shocked by her treatment and “couldn’t imagine” returning to the US.”
It’s not just Mem Fox. A few weeks back a former Prime Minister of the Netherlands was detained for an hour. A French historian of the Holocaust was almost deported. If only irony wasn’t dead.
“Henry Rousso is one of France’s most preeminent scholars and public intellectuals. Last week, as the historian attempted to enter the United States to attend an academic symposium, he was detained for more than 10 hours — for no clear reason.”
“On Wednesday, Rousso arrived at Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport after an 11-hour flight from Paris, en route to Texas A&M University in College Station. There, he was to speak Friday afternoon at the Hagler Institute for Advanced Study.”
“But things did not go according to plan: Rousso — an Egyptian-born French citizen — was “mistakenly detained” by U.S. immigration authorities, according to Richard Golsan, director of the Glasscock Center for Humanities Research at Texas A&M.”
A historian of the Holocaust was held in a broom closet for 10 hours for ‘no apparent reason.’ Oops.
Maybe it wasn’t an accident. Trump/Bannon probably don’t criticize people who say the Holocaust was a bad thing.
Then there was Muhammed Ali’s son:
“Muhammad Ali’s son was not detained because he’s Muslim, Customs officials say.”
Well, obviously. That’s why the first thing they asked him upon detaining him was ‘Are you Muslim?’
Muhammad Ali Jr. and his mother were detained at a Florida airport and asked about their religion as they returned from Jamaica, according to a family spokesman who said they were flagged for their “Arabic-sounding names.” However, Customs and Border Protection said that it treats “all travelers with respect and sensitivity.”
Ok, so that clears it up.
“We treat all travelers with respect and sensitivity. Integrity is our cornerstone. We are guided by the highest ethical and moral principles.
Basically, this is ICE”s version of Trump’s judicial theory: ‘We are above the law. Our actions are unreviewable.’
In other news:
— Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) February 27, 2017
ICE is having fun now. But like parents warn their kids. sometimes too much fun, too soon isn’t good for your long term welfare.
One of the very first thing a Democratic Congress must do is comprehensive and exhaustive hearings into ICE’s raids and it’s overall conduct under Trump. It has brazenly ignored court orders and generally acted as if like their favorite President, they are above the law.
They must be reminded that Congress controls their purse strings. If need be, the spigot must be shut off.
P.S. If you enjoy my blog and my support of #TheResistance-I’m also considering a 2018 run against GOP Congressmen Peter King of the NY 2nd district-then please consider a donation.