If there was ever an evil agency other than the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration), it is surely ICE (Immigration and Custom Enforcement). Its central task is to hunt down and deport peaceful and hard working people whose main "crime" is that they can't get the right papers from federal authorities. And in order to advance its mission, ICE is now trying to get its hands on raw intel amassed by the NSA through warrantless mass surveillance.
But ICE doesn't deserve such powers. It deserves to be scrapped, as my colleague at The Week, Ryan Cooper, recommends. "There is simply no need to have an agency whose major task is rounding up and deporting otherwise law-abiding immigrants."
Cooper offers a brief and highly incomplete list of some of the recent atrocities committed by ICE under Trump.
ICE has been:
Arresting fathers while dropping their kids off at school; staking out churches to round up people seeking sanctuary; deporting a successful businessman who has lived in the U.S. for 40 years; attempting to deport a veteran who served two tours in Afghanistan over a minor drug conviction; deporting an HIV-positive man to Venezuela, where a collapsed medical system means almost certain death; arresting, jailing for two weeks, and attempting to deport a doctor and green-card holder who has lived in the U.S. for 40 years over minor expunged charges from when he was 17; deporting the sole caregiver of a 6-year-old paraplegic boy; and even secretly compiling ways to strip citizenship from legal residents. Across the country, families are being ripped apart for no reason by a police force that is, quite simply, an anti-immigrant militia.
ICE focuses special attention on its political enemies, arresting and deporting leaders of immigrant rights' groups (some of them are suing the agency over this practice). They even tracked down and arrested an unauthorized immigrant who had written anonymously in The Seattle Times about his longtime girlfriend being arrested. "You are the one from the newspaper," the agent said.
Of particular note is a case in Kent, Washington, where an unauthorized immigrant called the police when he thought someone was breaking into his house. The cops discovered his status and an outstanding administrative warrant (not a criminal one), arrested him, and promptly turned him over to ICE. Now he's being deported back to Honduras, where he has not lived for 14 years.
This War on Immigration isn't just swallowing the liberties of immigrants, but also of gen-u-ine red-blooded Americans. Arizona, a leader in harsh immigration enforcement, has created criminal squads to raid employers suspected of having undocumented workers in their employ (because, apparently, the best way to save American jobs is by shutting down American businesses). Its border-town residents are forced to go through border patrol checkpoints just to take their kids to the dentist.
A good first step to stop all this would be by scrapping ICE.
"Let's just get rid of this rotten organization," Cooper sayz.
Bonus: My feature on how "Sanctuary Churches Are Taking In Immigrants and Taking On Trump."