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The American Gestapo



Above: Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents

ICE is the American version of the Gestapo and they should be demonized as such, individually.

An undocumented woman in desperate need of brain surgery has been forcibly removed from a Texas hospital — and her relatives in New York fear she could lose her life, a family representative said early Thursday.

Sara Beltran-Hernandez was detained after trying to migrate to the Big Apple from El Salvador without proper documentation in November 2015, family spokeswoman Melissa Zuniga told the Daily News. Beltran-Hernandez has been held at the Prairieland Detention Center in Alvarado, Texas ever since, as her Queens-based family members have tried to petition for her asylum.

Earlier this month, Beltran-Hernandez, 26, began complaining about severe headaches, nosebleeds and memory loss. Last week, she collapsed and was subsequently taken to a hospital. Doctors diagnosed her with a brain tumor and determined that she needed surgery.

But Zuniga told The News that Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents forcibly removed Beltran-Hernandez from the Huguley Hospital in Fort Worth on Wednesday evening.

“They had her tied up from hands and ankles,” Zuniga said. “She was brought in a wheelchair and is not being given treatment even though her nose continues to bleed and she has told them her head is exploding.”

Beltran-Hernandez had been put on a surgery waitlist over the weekend, according to Zuniga. But when Beltran-Hernandez’ relatives called on Wednesday night, the surgery was suddenly off the table.

“ICE was preparing paper work to get her back to the detention center,” Zuniga said.

We need to find out who these terrible human beings and confront them. We need to make working for ICE so shameful for these people that they quit. More directly, we need to take radical action to stop this. Maybe I don’t know what the right path is, but we need to do something. This is horrifying and despicable and we cannot allow it to continue.

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  • Actually they’ve always been like that, it’s just that nobody was paying attention before. They did shit like that during the Obama administration as well. I worked for a Latino CBO in Boston and believe me, I know. I can’t give you links because nobody covered it. They’d bust into houses and drag parents away from their kids all the time. This is not about new orders.

    • LeeEsq

      I based a cancellation application for a client based on a scenario like this. It worked.

      • Which proves my point — they’ve been doing this shit already

        • Tom in BK

          To go slightly OT, does any of the enforcement tie into housing policy? I ask because I’m currently working a contract investigating it in and around Boston, and any background info I can get would be appreciated. I’ve also heard stories and am a bit concerned about how landlords will deal with the newer enforcement aspects of the policies.

          Sorry if that sounds wacky, I just trust the commentariat here.

    • This is the truth, and I’d make an argument that immigration policy was the worst part of the Obama administration, at least until the last two years. But at least there was some attempt to encourage “prosecutorial discretion”. Now there’s nothing holding ICE agents back.

      • wengler

        There were a lot of ‘worst parts’ of the Obama administration. From his whistleblower policy, to terrorism Tuesdays, to his education policy and the massive failure of HAMP. He also continued the Democratic tradition of ceding the entire defense and law enforcement sectors to Republicans. One of whom acted as a proxy for Russia/Trump.

        • FlipYrWhig

          That Barack Obama was the worst form of president, except for all the others.

          • wengler

            Yeah even with these failings he was the best President of my lifetime. These aren’t small deficits though. These are issues that he could’ve been better on(and with immigration he did become better on during his administration) and he wasn’t.

        • Dennis Orphen

          Maybe Obama saw the Zapp Ruder Film.

        • You’re dissing St. Obama, you know. Better not talk that smack over at Ballon Juice. Last time I was over there they were still going on about the Bernie Bros, and I was like fucking give it a rest!

          • mathguy

            Whatever. You must not visit very often, since “St. Obama” is/was frequently criticized there as well.

            • I used to go there frequently, but had to take a break during the primaries because the Sanders vs. Clinton war over there was just too much. I go back every now and again to see if things have toned down, but I must be picking the wrong days to go back.

      • rea

        Shit like this was not the result of Obama’s immigration policy–it’s the result of ICE’s institutional culture. Trump encourages this shit, but other than firing the whole organization and starting over, it’s not clear how it gets fixed.

        • kvs

          Didn’t an LGM concern troll give us the answer a couple months ago? It’s up to us to join ICE.

          • Dennis Orphen

            In Amerikkka today, you don’t change institutional cultures. If anything, they change you.

            • They’re just being Good Amerikans, dutifully following the law and all that. Just like the Good Germans before them.

          • eh

            There’s a high success rate with “fucking shit up from the inside!”

        • Lurking Canadian

          other than firing the whole organization and starting over, it’s not clear how it gets fixed.

          Your proposal is acceptable.

        • Philip

          other than firing them

          Sounds great to me. A world without ICE would be a better world. Get rid of the whole organization.

        • Mike G

          When Trump talked about creating lots of jobs, maybe this is what he meant.

          Plenty of new career opportunities for brutal young fascists.

  • LeeEsq

    This straight up cartoon super-villainy behavior. Its pointless and actively cruel.

    • Dennis Orphen

      Maybe so, but it’s like torturing someone. If it feels good, do it. Remember, they can’t enjoy the simple pleasures of life the some way other can. Their tastes are more…..rarified? As long as it isn’t smoking pot, if it feels good, DO IT!

      • LeeEsq

        You say refined, I say that their tastes are barbaric and blood-thirsty. Vampirism.

      • eh

        So aside from the pot, they’re the hippies of law enforcement?

    • David Hunt

      Yes. The actions should have been coordinated from the controls of a giant rampaging robot. It’s the only context that makes sense.

    • randy khan

      It’s not pointless. The point is to make it clear that undocumented immigrants are at risk all the time, no matter where they are. It’s an intimidation tactic.

  • Hospital staff who didn’t see fit to tell her family she’d been taken need to be called out as well.

    • LeeEsq

      I’m kind of surprised the hospital staff allowed ICE to carry this out.

      • Sentient AI from the Future

        At a medium size hospital in fort worth, Texas?

        I’m not.

      • rhino

        a) Even in texas, I doubt the charge nurse is packing a pistol with teflon rounds to get through the vest the ICE thugs were wearing.

        b) I guarantee someone in that nurse’s chain of command ordered them to allow it.

        c) Because Texas.

      • Abbey Bartlet

        Tarrant County results:

        Donald J. Trump Michael R. Pence Republican 345,921 51.74%
        Hillary Clinton Timothy Kaine Democratic 288,392 43.14%
        Gary Johnson William F. Weld Libertarian 23,775 3.56%
        Dr. Jill Stein Ajamu Baraka Green 5,413 0.81%
        Evan McMullin Nathan Johnson Write-in 4,281 0.64%
        Other (+) – – 732 0.11%

    • Mondfledermaus

      Because she wasn’t insured and had no ability to pay. They were happy to her gone.

  • petemack

    Yeah, that’s way, way into ‘I was only following orders’ territory. Those SOBs need to be fired, immediately.
    Hint to ICE:
    DON’T arrest people out of courtrooms for any reason whatsoever. That includes domestic violence BTW.
    DON’T arrest people in hospitals.

    This doesn’t seem like rocket science, so stop being assholes.

    • DAS

      Anything that causes a chilling effect for people seeking assistance from the law or from medical care providers is dangerous from a public health and safety perspective. ICE’s actions actually are making us less safe. A key talking point needs to be Donald Trump’s administration is making Americans objectively less safe!

    • Warren Terra

      She wasn’t “arrested in hospital”. She was arrested more than a year ago, and held in a detention center since then. She was in the hospital after collapsing with a nosebleed in the detention center, and was waiting in the hospital for needed surgery when ICE agents instead returned her to the facility.

      In other words: this awful story is about the callous and brutal refusal to give ICE detainees the medical care they need; it’s not about sweeping hospitals for undocumented people. She was already in detention as an undocumented person when she checked into the hospital.

      • This is attempted murder.

        • bender

          Attempted murder. Hate crime. Violation of civil rights. On the way to murder and wrongful death.

          Probably also a charge for inhumane treatment of people in custody. Multiple violations of international law, but no way to enforce that.

          Is there a district attorney anywhere who would bring a case against the person who gave the order and the people who carried it out? Is there a court which would hear it?

          • eh

            Except the border-search exception and airport/customs “no rights zone” will be extended to anywhere that DHS is operating.

        • busker type


      • Mike G

        We’re talking about people who scream “let them die” about Americans without health insurance. It’ll be a frosty day in hell to expect them to give a crap about a prisoner in federal detention who needs an expensive procedure. I’m just surprised they didn’t dump her over the border to avoid the expense.

  • Fidalgo

    Maybe I don’t know what the right path is, but we need to do something.

    1) ICE is the Gestapo
    2) The Gestapo are Nazis
    3) It’s always correct to punch Nazis

    The intersection between hysterical rhetoric and personal courage.

    • BiloSagdiyev

      Could be worse.

      Now if the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms comes to disarm you and they are bearing arms, resist them with arms. Go for a head shot; they’re going to be wearing bulletproof vests. … They’ve got a big target on there, ATF. Don’t shoot at that, because they’ve got a vest on underneath that. Head shots, head shots…. Kill the sons of bitches

      G. Gordon Liddy, 1994

      What I did was restate the law. I was talking about a situation in which the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms comes smashing into a house, doesn’t say who they are, and their guns are out, they’re shooting, and they’re in the wrong place. This has happened time and time again. The ATF has gone in and gotten the wrong guy in the wrong place. The law is that if somebody is shooting at you, using deadly force, the mere fact that they are a law enforcement officer, if they are in the wrong, does not mean you are obliged to allow yourself to be killed so your kinfolk can have a wrongful death action. You are legally entitled to defend yourself and I was speaking of exactly those kind of situations. If you’re going to do that, you should know that they’re wearing body armor so you should use a head shot. Now all I’m doing is stating the law, but all the nuances in there got left out when the story got repeated.

      G. Gordon Liddy, 2003

    • Gregor Sansa


      If you were an anti-Nazi German in 1940, punching any Nazi in sight would not be a good idea. There is an ethical place for suicidal resistance, but only if effective non-suicidal resistance and even simple passive-aggressive non-complicity are ruled out.

      The same lesson, to a lesser degree, applies in the case of fascist ICE agents. Lack of courage is one reason you might not want to do it, but not the only valid one, even if you think punching is not a priori unethical.

      • humanoid.panda

        To restate Fidalgo’s point in a less annoying way, the notion that street violence is a productive tactic is somewhat problematic.

        • Gregor Sansa

          I agree. I think Nazis should be pied and/or shoed, but not punched, at every opportunity. I was just pointing out that Fidalgo’s gotcha was invalid.

      • Fidalgo

        Ahh.. so perhaps a more accurate restatement of the rule of “It’s always okay to punch Nazis” would be “It’s okay to punch Nazi’s unless they are powerful and you might get hurt doing it and non-suicidal resistance just isn’t working”

        • MAJeff

          There is a distinction here between “acceptable” and “advisable,” between “correct” and “required.”

          But troll on.

        • Abbey Bartlet

          It’s always acceptable, and encouraged where practical and prudent.

    • efgoldman

      It’s always correct to punch Nazis

      Punching someone who is carrying a firearm is not necessarily the wisest course.

      • rhino

        Depends on whether you punch them hard enough or not.

        • busker type

          Clearly Mr. Goldman has never seen a Chuck Norris movie

          • efgoldman

            Clearly Mr. Goldman has never seen a Chuck Norris movie

            Those are documentaries, right?

          • Dennis Orphen

            Does anyone else get a slight tinge of perverse pleasure when Bruce Lee kills him in The Way of the Dragon?

  • These guys were complaining that Obama wouldn’t let them enforce the laws, when he used his executive branch authority.

    Now Trump says he’s going to unshackle them and let them do their jobs.

    That is way beyond “just following orders.”

  • DAS

    Would it be illegal (e.g. a Logan Act violation or treason or something) for US citizens living in the US to request the UN somehow intervene in matters where international law may be violated?

    I know that if you are working with the campaign of a Republican running for the Presidency, you can have contact with not-so-friendly countries like Russia or even with actual enemy nations like North Vietnam or enemy factions like the religious rebels who were taking over Iran and not get prosecuted for treason or even for Logan Act violations. But as an average citizen, would reaching out to the UN be actionable?

    • humanoid.panda

      No one was ever charged with Logan Act violations , so my guess the answer is that you can appeal to whomever. The Black Panthers, for instance, called for a

      And as our major political objective, a United Nations-supervised plebiscite to be held throughout the black colony in which only black colonial subjects will be allowed to participate, for the purpose of determining the will of black people as to their national destiny.”

      The problem is that these appeals have zero real world effects.

    • LeeEsq

      The United Nations is a toothless and useless body. I’m surprised anybody still has faith in it.

      • efgoldman

        I’m surprised anybody still has faith in it.

        It allows hundreds (thousands?) of people from other countries to live and work in NYC on their home country’s dime

  • Thom

    In addition to the general horror of all this, the particular case really hits home for me. About three years ago, I had an ongoing severe headache. Eventually I was unable to function and my spouse took me to the ER, where I had emergency brain surgery to relieve pressure from an (unexplained) subdural hematoma. I would be dead now if I had not been able to get the surgery. Several things were critical to this: my spouse, our insurance (and starting next year we will be dependent on the ACA), and no one standing in the way.

  • BobOso

    The mind boggles at the plain meanness of it all. From the article if she’s been in detention since November but went to the hospital last week- did ICE take her to the hospital and then someone higher up said, “No- deport her and let her die either in custody or back in her home country”? God that’s cold.

  • Abbey Bartlet

    I can’t wait for Nuremberg Trials 2.0.


    • efgoldman

      I can’t wait for Nuremberg Trials 2.0.

      You’re going to be a very old lady.

      I’ll be long gone.

      • Abbey Bartlet

        Dunno, the first round didn’t take long.

        • efgoldman

          Dunno, the first round didn’t take long.

          It took something like 60-80 million deaths worldwide, and the near-elimination of a whole religion in Europe.
          Also the almost total destruction of two continents and the first and only use of nuclear weapons.

          I suppose trials in the Hague might be easier to wrangle, but nobody’s going to be arrested on American soil. Otherwise Darth, and possibly some of his enablers, would be in Dutch cells.

    • vic rattlehead

      I’ll say it again: James Comey is an accessory before the fact to crimes against humanity’s.

      • I’ll co-sign this also, as well as the anticipation for Nuremberg trials 2.0.

      • Dennis Orphen

        And that’s just the stuff we know he has done (and is doing).

  • libarbarian

    The Gestapo is bad …

    … but GestaBros are worse!

    • Gregor Sansa

      Too soon.

  • Joe_JP

    We can find police officers generally doing horrible things. Should all police officers be treated like the Gestapo too?

    Killing Gestapo agents from my understanding probably was seen as justified in various cases. If they are the Gestapo, is physical injury (more than mere punching) okay?

    After all, as someone here noted, they are just “garbage.”

    The specific action here is inhuman, but it is a product of a policy enforced by a range of people. And, a collective bill of attainder is being put here. ALL ICE agents are the Gestapo.

    • cppb

      One difference between ICE and other law enforcement is that other law enforcement is charged with enforcing laws that are (at least in theory) just, but that they far too frequently abuse their power or otherwise enforce the laws unjustly (either due to individual factors or institutional ones). In contrast, ICE agents are charged with enforcing laws that are by their nature unjust, and carrying out penalties that are monstrous, even when not enforced in overtly racist ways (which they almost always are).

      Different people can believe general law enforcement is more or less just as an institution, and can disagree whether our immigration laws are inherently unjust or not. But there is nothing necessarily inconsistent with believing it’s possible to be a “good” cop but impossible to be a “good” ICE agent, and therefore the moral opprobrium for the latter should be categorical while the former should be individualized depending on his or her behavior.

      Add to these principles the fact that the institution is carrying out the orders of a president who is an overtly racist authoritarian, and I don’t see anything wrong with drawing a line in the sand at being an ICE agent.

      • libarbarian

        ICE agents are charged with enforcing laws that are by their nature unjust, and carrying out penalties that are monstrous, even when not enforced in overtly racist ways (which they almost always are).

        So all deportations are unjust? All customs regulations are bullshit?

        Is this just for America or do you believe it for all countries

        • There is a reasonable case to be made either way under Obama, but the shitgibbon’s executive orders amount to literal ethnic cleansing. Anyone carrying them out is an accessory to crimes against humanity.

        • cppb

          So all deportations are unjust?


          All customs regulations are bullshit?

          No? Who cares? You can have customs regulations without also having a gang of racist thugs destroying lives over national origin.

      • JMV Pyro

        I was actually at a seminar yesterday where it came up that DHS has had trouble getting people to sign up for boarder enforcement jobs for years. Would not be surprised at all if there was some self selection going on as far as personality type goes.

        • Tyto

          A large part of it, according to DHS, is that folks from cities are rarely happy to find they will be assigned to the middle of nowhere in Texas or Arizona.

  • Simple Mind

    I’ve seen the script.

    May we see your papers?

    I don’t think I have them on me.

    In that case, we’ll have to ask you to come along.

    The civilian pats his pockets.

    Suddenly the civilian breaks away and starts to run wildly down the street. A shot RINGS out, and the man falls to the ground. The policeman frantically searches the body, but only
    finds Free French literature.

    • Sucks to be you if you’re here legally but have the misfortune to “look illegal” and get picked up without proof of your right to be here.

      Funny how in this country this kind of burden only gets imposed on non-white people.

      • Dennis Orphen

        Isn’t being the undisputed masters of the universe burden enough?

      • randy khan

        I just told my hair stylist yesterday that she should carry her passport with her all the time. She’s a naturalized citizen from El Salvador with a pretty heavy accent, so she seems to be at risk.

      • Not that Federal agents would just start asking everybody for their ID or anything.

        edit – although in this case, the Feds seem to have targeted everybody on the flight, not just people of color, so…progress?

      • eh

        Here in San Francisco, I wouldn’t be surprised if there were just as many Irish people overstaying their visas as Mexican undocumenteds. The construction mafias depend heavily on both.

    • (((Malaclypse)))

      Also, the man drops right in front of a mural depicting Petain.

  • leftwingfox

    I’m sure our detention centers aren’t dystopian hellholes at all:


    • vic rattlehead

      Fuck me that’s like straight out of Children of Men

      You have to wonder. I bet there are a ton of people out there who watched that movie and thought “Say…not a bad idea!”

    • nasser

      holy moly

  • Was listening to my local AM wingnut today. He was fantasizing about invading Mexico so that we could drop all the non-Mexican deportees there. If they came through Mexico, they can go back to Mexico, was his thinking.

    The righties have their blood up more now than at any time since the early days of the Iraq War.

    • BiloSagdiyev

      Yes. And I’m not even sure why.

      My best guesses are:
      they lost the White House to the BLACK MAN.
      And they raised holy hell about it.
      And they lost it AGAIN! : D

      And they know it. (One reason for the wailing of excuses about voter fraud.) They couldn’t stop it.

      Also, terror attacks in Western Europe caught their attention. I was never sure they noticed Madrid and London. (Perhaps because when big daddy Republican prez is in the White House, we are all safe, somehow.)

      My new theory:
      The Global War on Terror. They were promised one. Some of these folks yearn for WWII type stuff. Just sheer genocidal bombing of cities. We licked the Nat-sees in four years! And this thing drags on with no end in sight.

      That’s because it can’t be won, but trying telling them. We’ve gotten nowhere on that kind of subject subject with such folks since (checks Vietnamese calendar) Tet, 1968.

      They had a dream of world peace — as defined as “everybody cowering before our gun barrels or under drones and doing exactly as we say.”

      I don’t know what to say to folks who didn’t see an endless quagmire coming when we galavanted in there in full force in 2003 1990.

      Hope I live to see the say we’re not so bloody involved over there. Starting to think I won’t.

      Oh,and of course, the economy, withi the 42% unemployment. So much carnage. I keep forgetting they live in a hysterical bubbleworld of horseshit facts.

    • Jean-Michel

      This isn’t just a fantasy. This is something the Trump administration is openly proposing.

  • Jack M.

    I hesitate to make this prediction, but I fully expect Trump to raise the “10,000” ICE stormtroopers he wants, is to outsource operations to Blackwater/Xe/Academi/whatever the hell Prince has renamed it to now. Trump can call it ‘military operations,’ and posse comitatus isn’t an issue.

    The only thing worse than a jackboot stomping on a human face, forever, is a mercenary’s jackboot.

    • nasser

      using mercenaries to get around posse comitatus? would that even be legal? or what it just not matter to Agent Orange?

    • N__B

      Blackwater/Xe/Academi/whatever the hell Prince has renamed it to now

      “Fluffy Bunny Security Through Domination.”

  • More evidence that it’s not just a few bad apples at the bottom; Homeland Security officials lied to the Santa Cruz Sheriff’s office about ICE involvement in raids to round up gang members. After Homeland Security assured the SO that ICE would not be involved and that the raids were related solely to criminal activity, ICE ended up detaining people caught up in the raid who were not involved in crime but were undocumented. Nobody in the Homeland Security chain of command will take responsibility for making the decision, but they’re also not denying that it happened, or that the Sheriff’s Office was lied to.

    • Matt_L

      That means that Homeland Security is going to get a lot less cooperation from the local cops in the coming years. You can pull that crap once and the Sheriffs won’t want to get burned again. The local police really hate it when the Feds show up, mess up the backyard and then leave.

  • I mentioned this above, but it deserves to be emphasised as much as possible: the Shitgibbon Administration’s orders are a textbook example of a proposal for ethnic cleansing. The Gestapo comparison is entirely justified at this point.

    • Matt_L

      yes, agreed.

  • JMV Pyro

    Went ahead and looked up what ICE does beyond the horrific deportations, which are under the jurisdiction of Enforcement and Removal Operations(ERO). Biggest other thing is Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), which covers everything from art theft to human trafficking.

    I would imagine, in a hypothetical universe where ICE was somehow being dismantled, that rolling HSI into DoJ and dismantling ERO would be a good start. Having a bunch of pissy ex-Deportation Officers around would probably be bad though. Would probably lead to a militia movement spike.

  • ice9

    I thought the Gestapo wore long brown trench coats and often smiled broadly and spoke American English when it was necessary to fool a suspect. Those guys in the photo are SS, who are worse somehow. I know they are smug and are all classically trained musicians, but not much else. Except the shooting and the gassing, of course. I think we need polish up the accuracy of our Nazi allusions, since the people in power are sure to know all the nuances.


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