U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials’ actions amount to a reign of terror on immigrants and immigrant rights activists lately. ICE has no qualms about rounding them up and treating them like cattle, as video of their operation proves.
And, according to Media Matters for America and the video, these ICE agents aren’t afraid of doing considerably worse things, too. Horribly and tragically worse.
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A Few Examples:
1.10-year-old Rosa Maria Hernandez, Who Has Cerebral Palsy.
An ambulance took the girl to a hospital in Corpus Christi, Texas, because she needed emergency gallbladder surgery. After border patrol agents stopped her at a checkpoint, they followed the little girl, who is undocumented, to the hospital treating her.
While still resting in bed, they arrested her and took her to a San Antonio shelter for unaccompanied children, only releasing her after the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a lawsuit. Her deportation hearings are ongoing.
2. Immigrants’ Rights Activist, Ravidath Ragbir
ICE agents arrested Ragbir in New York City, and he fainted while they took him into custody, and they subsequently took him to the hospital. Accompanied by his wife, ICE officials separated the couple and took Ragbir to another hospital, leaving her by herself at the first hospital. The agents transferred Ragbir to two different detention centers before finally winding up at Krome Detention Center in Florida the very same day, The Intercept reports.
Fortunately, a federal judge has since granted Ragbir a stay.
3. Erlin San Martin And Six-Year-Old (Likely Autistic) Son
The boy isn’t able to verbalize his worries and doesn’t understand why his dad wasn’t at his birthday party. But once again, ICE officials are responsible because they detained San Martin.
4. Chemistry Teacher Of 30 Years Syed Ahmed Jamal
That didn’t stop ICE agents from detaining and handcuffing him outside his house while he was preparing to take his daughter to school. A judge has since granted him a temporary stay.
5. Jesus Berrones And His Son With Cancer
Berrones, an undocumented Mexican immigrant, has a young son with leukemia. He was scheduled to be deported but has since won a one-year-stay, The Huffington Post reports.
6. Dr. Lukasz Niec, Legal Green Card Holder Of 40 Years
He was brought from Poland by his parents when he was just five-years-old. He has lived in the U.S. for 40 years and has a current green card. ICE officials detained him, and he is currently awaiting deportation proceedings.
7. Abused And Beaten Somalian Immigrants
The Intercept reported that these 92 Somalian immigrants:
“…Were shackled with chains on their wrists, waists, and legs for more than 40 hours, forced to urinate in bottles or on themselves” [on a flight to Somalia that was chartered by ICE agents].”
Reportedly, “ICE officers beat and threatened some passengers,” but the agency has (of course) denied this. The immigrants were flown back to the U.S. now await their fate in the Krome and Glades County Detention Centers, both in Florida. In the meantime, their lawyers continue to fight their detention orders.Lastly, as if the items above weren’t already bad enough,
8. Peaceful Church-Goers
But being interrogated about their immigration status on their way to church by ICE agents.
“…George W. Bush’s immigration policy tended to reflect the philosophy that all unauthorized immigrants in America ought to feel that deportation was a possibility at any given time — because if they felt the pressure, they might be inspired to leave on their own, before ICE got to them.”
During this time, more than 10 million people were deported. President Barack Obama didn’t deport as many, but he “used a strategy called ‘prosecutorial discretion,” which prioritized the types of immigrants who were being deported (i.e., those with criminal records). It also avoided deporting parents whose children were born in the U.S., but even so, five million people were deported during his presidency.
The Bush and the Obama administrations established precedents that set Trump on a path that seems to favor the former administration over the latter. During the fiscal year 2017, the agency made 37,734 ‘non-criminal’ arrests, more than twice the number in 2016.
This Is Where Things Get Really Scary
ICE officials are investigating potentially combining forces with the intelligence community. As a result, some civil liberties advocates and watchdog groups worry it could give spy agencies and immigration enforcers some frightening powers.
Senior Counsel Jake Laperruque for the Project on Government Oversight said:
“The idea that ICE could potentially get access to warrantless surveillance is frankly terrifying.”
This doesn’t portend well for undocumented people in the U.S., and it doesn’t bode well for those born in this country, either. These actions have their roots in fascism. Obviously. But could it get any worse?
The video below details the shocking situation.
Featured image via YouTube video.