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Abolish ICE

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Immigration and Customs Enforcement is a fascist police force engaging in widescale ethnic cleansing of the United States. Now that Trump and Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III (and I don’t care that Trump is bullying Sessions. That racist elf deserves everything that happens to him) have given ICE agents free run to be the racist strike force many of its employees want to be, they have acted wtih impunity. Because these victims of these fascists are poor, live in the shadows, and often don’t speak English (or even Spanish as many are indigenous), the mainstream reaction against Trump has put this issue too much on the backburner. But on the ground, it is horrifying.

Example A:

A 42-year-old Los Angeles pastor with two U.S. citizen children was detained by immigration authorities on Monday morning.

Noe Carias is the lead pastor at an Evangelical church near Echo Park, a position he has held for a number of years. He is originally from Guatemala and has been in the United States since he was 14 or 15, according to his wife. Carias was reportedly detained during a court appearance Monday during which he had been hoping to receive a stay of removal. His deportation order reportedly dates back to 1994 or 1995, according to advocates for the family. He previously received a stay of removal in 2014, and that same stay was extended in 2016.

“He has a U.S. citizen wife and he has two little children,” pastor and community organizer Martin Garcia told LAist. “They own a house, and at this moment the whole family is going to crumble because he was the economic support for the family. It’s going to have an impact.”

“We consider this unfair according to the promises of the administration,” Garcia continued. “They said that they were only deporting people who had major crimes—bad hombres—but not really people without any criminal record.”

“My husband is not a criminal,” Carias’ wife, Victoria Carias, told LAist outside of the Federal Building while her two small children played nearby. “He’s been a good citizen.” Advocates for the family say that Pastor Carias does not have a criminal record.

Example B:

Example C:

The New Yorker‘s Jonathan Blitzer has been in contact with an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent since March in an attempt to learn what the agency is like under President Donald Trump. This week, the agent decided that he’d seen enough and had to blow the whistle:

At first, the agent spoke to me on the condition that I not publish anything about our conversations. But that has changed. Increasingly angry about the direction in which ice is moving, the agent agreed last week to let me publish some of the details of our talks, as long as I didn’t include identifying information.

[…]

The agent’s decision to allow me to write about our conversations came after learning that ice was making a push, beginning this week, to arrest young undocumented immigrants who were part of a large wave of unaccompanied minors who crossed the border in recent years and who, until now, had been allowed to live in the U.S. Rather than detaining these young people, the government had placed them in the care of families around the country. Most of them are trying to lead new lives as American transplants, going to school and working. ice now plans to pursue those who have turned eighteen since crossing the border, and who, as a result, qualify for detention as legal adults. “I don’t see the point in it,” the agent said. “The plan is to take them back into custody, and then figure it out. I don’t understand it. We’re doing it because we can, and it bothers the hell out of me.”

The policy he’s talking about was announced last month and immediately denounced by immigration advocates.

The agent went on, “The whole idea is targeting kids. I know that technically they meet the legal definition of being adults. Fine. But if they were my kids travelling in a foreign country, I wouldn’t be O.K. with this. We’re not doing what we tell people we do. If you look next month, or at the end of this month, at the people in custody, it’s people who’ve been here for years. They’re supposed to be in high school.”

This revolting ethnic cleansing conducted with a government-approved fascist terrorist force has to be the top target of resisting Trump. Or a top target at least. We must not only demand that this stop, but that ICE should be disbanded and reconstituted with a different mandate and under a much more accountable authority. So long as we do not speak out against this agency and its agents on an individual agents if we know who they are, then we are culpable with the ethnic cleansing of our nation.

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  • Snarki, child of Loki

    Great business opportunity awaits!

    The just-south-of-the-Rio-Grande “Bag a Fascist Shooting Range”.

  • They call Trump a “populist”. Only in America could “populism” mean ethnic cleansing and tax cuts for the rich.

    • Linnaeus

      Trump is, at best, a simulacrum of a populist.

      • waspuppet

        Wouldn’t a populist have won the popular vote?

    • Heron

      The US Media is ridiculous. And remember how, during the election and for a few weeks after it, they kept smearing Sanders by treating him and Donny Two-Scoops as the same?

    • JKTH

      Populist just means “angry-sounding white guy” to the media.

    • mongolia

      Only in America could “populism” mean ethnic cleansing and tax cuts for the rich.

      this is what right-wing populism, i.e. ideologies on the fascist spectrum, is literally everywhere. not an america-only phenomenon, and i think you’d be hard-pressed to find a country in the world without this sort of populism

      this is actually a point that really irritates me – people talking about how trump is a “fake populist” or some other nonsense. populism is really about appealing to the “common man” in most formulations, but in nearly every formulation this is done by demonizing a hated group. left-wing populism tends to be against capitalists, bankers, etc. (groups that often *deserve* contempt), whereas right-wing tend to be against hated racial groups – for example, (((globalists))), thugs, or illegals. or take the example of trumps anti-trade rhetoric, the point of which was almost entirely to demonize mexicans and chinese people. so in this case, trump is clearly a right-wing populist – and putting in bankers into his admin isn’t a problem, since they don’t get in the way of what trumpists want, which is liberals to be sad and for jack-booted thugs (ice and cops) beating up black and brown people.

      • sherparick

        Yep! And Trump is making a lot middle age white men & women I know giddy with this stuff, as well as once again threatening to jail Hillary, & making liberals cry. He is their talk radio/Fox News dream oh a rageaholic President come to life. 45% of the country are assholes, sorry to say.

  • howard

    Even as a young new lefty decades ago I didn’t believe in demonizing all cops as “pigs,” the common insult towards police in the late ’60s.

    But for ICE, I’m prepared to make an exception: what a bunch of hateful things.

  • Lost Left Coaster

    Trump’s agenda has bogged down in so many ways due to his incompetence and the divisions within the Republican party. But his efforts to terrorize undocumented immigrants as well as the Latino community in general has been wildly successful, precisely because ICE apparently was chomping at the bit to become his ethnic cleansing force. The damage he is doing to families will last for generations.

  • Oppen

    “Immigration and Customs Enforcement is a fascist police force engaging in widescale ethnic cleansing of the United States.”

    If a person actually believed that to be true, one would think that merely penning blog posts is an inadequate response.

    • SatanicPanic

      Looks like someone repurposed the old “if global warming is real, why did you have kids huh huh?”

      • Oppen

        I don’t see how the two are related, but it’s certainly true that choosing to have no children is the single best thing that most first world people can do to reduce their carbon footprint.

        There’s also the added advantage for White people that, if they don’t have children, they won’t have to move to suburbs for better schools which is, you know, racist.

        • Aaron Morrow

          They are both mealy-mouthed excuses for attacking people trying to get out the truth.

          • majeff

            They are both mealy-mouthed excuses for attacking people trying to get out the truth.

            Yeah, but trolls gonna troll.

        • Conversely, choosing to have children and raising them to be rational people would certainly help to offset the the Trump community, no?

          • N__B

            That reeks of effort.

          • Option could be adopt and raise em that way

          • Oppen

            That’s true.

        • Joe Paulson

          Okay so you are trolling. Saves time.

          • Oppen

            Everybody wins.

    • nominal

      You forgot to add “And Obama was the worst deporter of them all, but you supported him! Neoliberal sellout!”

    • Joe Paulson

      Is that all Erik Loomis does?

    • spencer_e9876

      If a person actually believed that to be true, one would think that merely penning blog posts is an inadequate response

      What do you suggest he do instead? Be specific. Use examples.

      • Oppen

        Describe the problem using accurate, less hysterical, language.

        For example, instead of : “Immigration and Customs Enforcement is a fascist police force engaging in widescale ethnic cleansing of the United States.”

        Try

        “Immigration and Customs Enforcement is a police force engaging in deportation in the United States.”

        • Lost Left Coaster

          Immigration and Customs Enforcement is not a police force.

        • spencer_e9876

          Of course, your “accurate” description completely eliminates any indication of a problem or other reason why someone should even read the next sentence, so yeah, you’re trolling.

          • Lost Left Coaster

            Sort of like going from “President Trump is a national disgrace” to “President Trump is president of the United States.”

            In other words, just strip all the accuracy out of there to make a banal statement, and Oppen will be fine with it!

            • Oppen

              More accurately, like saying President Trump is worse than the holocaust” instead of accurately saying he is a national disgrace.

          • Oppen

            Tell me more about how clickbait is going to save democracy.

            You won’t BELIEVE reason number 4!!!

        • Aaron Morrow

          Why would Loomis use less accurate language? Do you honestly want to cover up widespread problems, or are you unclear about the changes in policy at ICE?

        • OliversArmy

          “The Gestapo was a police force engaging in enforcing the laws of the democratically elected Third Reich.”

          How’m I doing you bag of shit?

          • Oppen

            In 32 von Hindenburg appointed Hitler chancellor because he mistakenly believed that von Papen would be able to control him. After von Papen resigned and then when Hindenburg died in 34, Hitler declared himself head of state, even though he was not legally.

            The referendum to merge the chancellorship and the presidency in 34 was rife with fraud.

            So, you’re not doing very well, you bag of shit.

  • LeeEsq

    Resident immigration lawyer, I generally endorse everything Erik states. My pet peeve is that a lot pro-immigrant activism in liberal and left circuits is heavily focused on certain groups of immigrants but has a tendency to overlook that ICE has also been very hard on groups besides Muslims and Latin Americans. Immigrants from the People’s Republic of China (i.e. the immigrants that I advocate for) and other Asian countries have also not faired well under the Trump administration but its really hard to get this acknowledged. Even among pro-immigrant forces, there is a tendency to see certain immigrant groups as deserving more pity and compassion than other immigrant groups. One person implied to me once that they do not see Chinese immigrants as real immigrants, in the way Hispanics and Muslims are, because they are insufficiently activist in their politics in the United States. That is really vicious.

    • Great and important comment. Thanks.

    • Yes, this needs to be said. My wife’s parents have sponsored several people from African countries, and not all immigrants are treated the same, nor even given the same sympathy.

      • LeeEsq

        I think the issue is that while there is demagoguery against all immigrants, a lot of the targeted demagoguery is towards Muslim or Latin American immigrants because of the current state of the culture war. This leads people to believe that immigrants from China, India, sub-Sahara countries, and other Asian countries are not really in danger from ICE. This isn’t true at all.
        There are also, as I mentioned political issues. Immigrants from China countries and Chinese-Americans tend to handle politics through formal political institutions rather than activism and protest. That’s if they get involved in politics at all. There is a certain amount of apolitical behavior. If your from an activist background, this seems something like political heresy to the activist set I guess.

      • I mean I do remember some schadenfreude when Iraqi Xtians were being deported but that’s because they were Trump supporters. For other cases I do wonder if European groups are being targeted as I haven’t heard anything about that

        • LeeEsq

          Russians, Ukrainians, and Belorussians, and Albanians get targeted by ICE more than other European groups but this is mainly because they file for asylum while other European groups do not. Roma also get targeted but that’s because they again, file for asylum so fall under the eye of the immigration authorities more.

          There are a decent number of undocumented European immigrants in the United States but they, for obvious reasons like skin color and language, tend to avoid ICE more.

      • Uncle_Ebeneezer

        Even from other immigrants. I’ve known immigrants from Columbia, Nigeria etc. express anti-immigrant sentiments towards Mexicans and vice versa. Some of whom had their own undocumented family, friends.

    • Kind of shocked that someone would say something like that, but you are probably right about the broader implications here.

    • Uncle_Ebeneezer

      Wow, that’s really sad to hear. My experience in LA has been better with most local activists keenly aware of the threat to other immigrant populations, with spokes-people from Cambodia, India etc. routinely showing up even though most of the focus is on Mexican/Central/South Americans. Everyone has their blindspots. Thanks for bringing it up.

    • So some questions, if possible. This has been made much worse, but are there any numbers. I’d like to know the post 9-11 ones. And how else can we help?

    • what groups help with the situation? ACLU? Anyone else?

  • SpiderDan

    Erik, you neglected to mention that Obama was the Deporter-In-Chief and therefore there is no difference between the parties.

    You’re only allowed to use numbers when comparing deportations, and if Obama’s numbers were bigger than Dubya’s numbers, it means Democrats are the same as Republicans, but worse. Those are the rules.

    • reattmore

      if Obama’s numbers were bigger than Dubya’s numbers, it means Democrats are the same as Republicans, but worse.

      Or, it could simply be that Obama started counting people turned away at the borders as a “deportation”

  • reattmore

    A lot of government policy, not to mention judicial decisions, makes more sense if you under stand that people are lazy. They are not deporting criminals–those people take an effort to find, because they are hiding. They are deporting people who are not hiding, whose names and addresses are in their files.

    • LeeEsq

      I’ve had a few clients who had requests for visas extension denied because of a simple typo on their part, the first tried to extend their visa pro se. Its clear from the denial that whoever was reviewing their application just stopped at the typo and denied the extension request rather than actually look at the original visa to see that they are still in status.

    • They are not being immediately deported. They are being rounded up and placed in a gulag. Deportation supposedly happens later, if they survive long enough.

  • The banality of evil is a real thing.

    • Hogan

      There are hardly any excesses of the most crazed psychopath that cannot
      easily be duplicated by a normal kindly family man who just comes in to
      work every day and has a job to do.

      • LeeEsq

        The normal kindly family man justify their actions by perceiving themselves as heroes. They go back and tell their spouses, kids, neighbors, and friends on how they protected the country from terrorists, criminals, and other deviants. Psychopaths at least admit they are doing it for the misery they create.

  • nominal

    Just to be the annoying pedant (I mean, we’re all those guys in a way, right?), abolishing ICE won’t do anything. All those agents, all those managers, will still be there, just in something called “Transient and Immigration Control” or something. Or to put it another way, ICE isn’t the problem; the people in ICE are the problem.

    The best way to make the people not a problem is to have ICE be more professional, with better people and better training and better management. I wish there was a pithy slogan like “Abolish ICE” that would summarize that.

    • McAllen

      I’m not sure about this. I think not having an organization solely dedicated to immigration enforcement would help a lot.

      • LeeEsq

        Immigration is split between many different government departments. The immigration courts and the Board of Immigration Appeals are under the Department of Justice. DHS runs ICE, USCIS, and the Administrative Appeals Office. The State Department issues visas and conducts consular interviews. In PERM applications, the Department of Labor gets involved. This split of jurisdiction is both a good and bad thing depending on the situation. Nearly all of these organizations are dedicated to enforcing immigration in their own way.

        • Aaron Morrow

          Federal law enforcement agencies are those with police-like powers and would exclude agencies with court-like powers but no federal law enforcement power. The immigration courts and the Board of Immigration Appeals are not federal law enforcement agencies like the FBI or the DEA. The key federal law enforcement agencies in DHS are ICE, UCSIS, and CBP. State and Labor have no federal law enforcement agencies that are involved in immigration policies.

          EDIT: Without knowing anything, Customs and Border Patrol probably needs more sunlight from the press.

    • so-in-so

      You think too small. “Abolish ICE” doesn’t necessarily mean fold the organization into another one with all the same people. There is also scorched earth, sow the ground with salt approach of closing the department, firing ALL the people, denying them future government jobs…

  • Heron

    These are violations of civil rights. The agents and commanding officers involved need to see prison time, as do the admin officials involved in promulgating these orders.

  • Anna in PDX

    So just practically, as private citizens, who do we address this call to disband ICE to? The AG? The president’s office? (what a waste of time) Our senators and representatives?

  • Glad that word is being used more and more. It certainly is ethnic cleansing and it’s what the right wants. No need to sugar coat it

  • Joe Paulson

    One example:

    “His deportation order reportedly dates back to 1994 or 1995, according to advocates for the family. He previously received a stay of removal in 2014, and that same stay was extended in 2016.”

    So, he had an order against him back over 20 years, a stay was given, then extended for another two years, and “during a court appearance” he was seized?

    This seems real gratuitous (like killing someone after over 20 years on death row — at some point, the time has passed) but the ultimate concern is the underlining policy, which seems not have been applied in a zero tolerance sort of way anyhow. The policy is there like a loaded gun.

    • acallidryas

      There have been lots of immigrants with stays seized and deported after going to their regular check in. It’s pretty disgusting, and clearly targeting people because they can not because they’re dangerous. It will only drive people further into the shadows and make them afraid to comply with the law.

      It is gratuitous, but the point isn’t law enforcement or safety or anything else. The point is ethnic cleansing, as Erik said.

      • Joe Paulson

        It might help if there was a clearer law that said “dangerous” is the criteria and that it would be somewhat strict (not a matter of committing a crime twenty years ago or whatever). Sounds like the person here is liable to be deported and we are relying on the good faith discretion of those in office.

        • acallidryas

          I completely agree. When the Obama Administration (and I’m not saying There’s No Difference, but he was pretty awful on this issue his first term) put in place Secure Communities and a couple of other programs to ramp up deportations, they tried to assure the immigrant rights community that this was up to prosecutorial discretion and the guidance issued meant that “non dangerous” immigrants wouldn’t be deported or targeted. Many people strongly disagreed and pointed out this didn’t provide any guaranteed safety or a good reason for immigrants to trust law enforcement and do the right thing regarding check ins or trying to become legal. Sadly, it appears those fears were correct. The law currently makes the status of millions dependent on the good faith of ICE (ha!) or the whim of a judge.

    • Drew

      I know little about this area of law, but I think this is common. Lots of people walking around with the deportation order of Damocles hanging over them for years and years. Not illegally, mind you, they’re just stayed or something for one reason or another for years and years.

      • Joe Paulson

        Think that is a problem for a lot of people in various respects. There’s always that chance.

      • Jon Hendry

        I would guess a lot of the time there are appeals and other procedural things going on, that take a long time.

  • Uncle_Ebeneezer

    Another part of the equation: Bail bondsman

    https://www.facebook.com/jose.u.salazar.1/videos/vb.100004645382784/885039364994235/?type=2&theater

    For those interested in finding ways to help, resist etc., NDLON is a great FB/Twitter follow.

    • Drew

      Ah bail bonds. Another honorable profession.

  • sanjait

    I don’t like the casual application of collective guilt here. That’s ironically how bigots justify their bigotry.

    But the actions described are deplorable.

    It’s a world gone mad.

    • Lost Left Coaster

      “casual application of collective guilt here” — I do not think that Erik makes this casually. He’s trying to convey the scale of what is happening. ICE is on the rampage, and they are systematically destroying people’s lives, including children. If Erik’s point is that there is no honorable way to be a member of such an organization, it is one that I wholly endorse.

      • Anna in PDX

        Well that is true. I mean, I can’t see being an honorable member of ICE now. It’s sort of similar to the situation where a bunch of foreign service officers resigned during the runup to the Iraq war. That said. If no honorable people worked there you could not get that whistleblowing article to which the OP links and from which it quotes.

      • sanjait

        How many ICE agents took their jobs before Trump became president? Most probably signed up under an Obama administration, when the job involved focusing on criminal aliens.

        What are those people supposed to do, quit in protest en masse because some people in ICE are doing terrible shit and the president is terrible?

        I respect those that would of course, but can understand those that wouldn’t. And that’s probably most of the force.

        I get what you and Loomis are saying. I just think it’s wrong, because I don’t believe collective guilt is appropriate in this case. It’s certainly true that there are fascists in the force who have done terrible things at the behest of the fascist president. Acknowledged. But does that make the entire agency some kind of criminal enterprise? The country *must* have an agency that enforces immigration policy. That’s not an optional thing, it’s a basic function. I feel like that important fact is being elided.

        • Jon Hendry

          “What are those people supposed to do, quit in protest en masse because some people in ICE are doing terrible shit and the president is terrible?”

          Leak. Tell the press how their orders contradict the official claims of ICE priorities. Ignore orders from Washington. File objections through official channels. Then, if necessary, quit.

        • Lost Left Coaster

          “What are those people supposed to do, quit in protest en masse because
          some people in ICE are doing terrible shit and the president is
          terrible?”

          Yes. Yes they should.

          “does that make everyone in the agency complicit like it’s some kind of criminal enterprise?”

          Yes. Yes it does.

          “The country *must* have an agency that enforces immigration policy. That’s not an optional thing, it’s a basic function.”

          That’s not what they do. They are terrorizing people. They are tearing families apart. They are deporting innocent children or keeping them locked up in deplorable conditions. The USA would be better off without ICE at this point than with ICE. I won’t go Godwin in this discussion but I will say that Americans have a much easier time imagining a state agency as inherently evil when it exists in a different country than in our own. But ostensibly all such agencies have a legitimate underpinning as well.

          In other words, the USA would be better off right now with 100% uncontrolled immigration than it is with ICE rampaging across the country, terrorizing people.

  • Mr__Neutron

    Apparently we will have to put up with ICE’s fascism for 15 more years, because Edward Luttwak in the TLS has proclaimed that Trump will be re-elected and is now, even as we speak, preparing the ground for Ivanka’s bid for the Presidency. I eagerly hope LGM will tackle this prize piece of ordure: https://www.the-tls.co.uk/articles/public/trump-dynasty-luttwak/

    • Hogan

      In his 2002 book Public Intellectuals: A Study of Decline, U.S. Appeals Court Judge Richard A. Posner said Luttwak “writes well and with authority (that is, with an air of great confidence) and knows a lot—he is a serious historian and defense analyst”. “But writing as a public intellectual, he repeatedly ventures predictions that events falsify. In 1983, he pronounced the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan a success. He also thought it likely that the Soviet Union would launch a limited war against China, especially if the West increased its military power (as it did in the 1980s, under President Ronald Reagan). Years later, and indeed just a few months before the Berlin Wall came down, Luttwak was worrying that Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev’s policies of glasnost and perestroika would augment the military power of the Soviet Union. Instead, those policies precipitated the end of the Cold War and the dissolution of the Soviet Union”.

      Besides also citing Luttwak’s prediction, in response to a question, of the impoverishing of all but a small minority of Americans “soon enough”, Posner wrote that Luttwak predicted, shortly before the first Persian Gulf War, that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein would evacuate Kuwait “after a week or two of bombing (the bombing continued for six weeks without inducing him to do so) and warned that the use of ground forces ‘could make Desert Storm a bloody, grinding combat with thousands of (U.S.) casualties.’ The ground fighting lasted only four days, rather than the minimum of two weeks that Luttwak predicted, and U.S. casualties were minimal. Writing a month into the bombing, Luttwak was no longer predicting heavy casualties but he still opposed a ground campaign. He thought it would
      lead inevitably to a military occupation of Iraq from which we would be unable to disengage without disastrous foreign policy consequences.”[4]

      Well, he was right about the impoverishing.

      • firefall

        Luttwak: correct slightly more often than Kristol ?

  • Drew

    I worry for a friend. She has been married to her husband (another friend) for a couple years now. She has a green card, and she has to do whatever convoluted forms/process to apply for citizenship (I know little about immigration law beyond the fact that it’s extremely complicated). She’s Canadian by way of China, but I don’t know that that makes her much safer. I’m not sure what to tell them since I am one of their closest attorney friends.

  • thispaceforsale

    It’s a tragedy Thomas Homan has any power at all in this world.

  • So, is there a list of groups that work to help these people? That would be helpful.

  • CDWard

    Great article Erik. ICE has clearly become a rogue agency, ignoring the law at every turn.

    • Jon Hendry

      They’re not a rogue agency, it’s a rogue administration. ICE is just following orders.

  • wengler

    They are lazy assholes that only care about the numbers.

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