From The Guardian
The agency is so harmful to civil rights, there's a good argument it should be disbanded altogether. Unfortunately they are only becoming more emboldened
With arrests of non-violent undocumented immigrants exploding across the country, it's almost as if Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) agents are having an internal contest to see who can participate in the most cruel and inhumane arrest possible. The agency, emboldened by Trump's xenophobic rhetoric, is out of control -- and Congress is doing little to stop them.
Last week, Ice agents ate breakfast at a Michigan restaurant, complimented the chef on their meal and then proceeded to arrest three members of the restaurant's kitchen staff, according to the owner.
Depraved stories like this are now almost too prevalent to comprehensively count: Ice has arrested undocumented immigrants showing up for scheduled green card appointments at a US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office. They've arrested a father after dropping his daughter off at school. An Ice detainee was even removed forcefully against her will from a hospital where she was receiving treatment for a brain tumor.
In a particularly dangerous policy, Ice been arresting people inside US courthouses around the country. "Attorneys and prosecutors in California, Arizona, Texas and Colorado have all reported teams of Ice agents -- some in uniform, some not -- sweeping into courtrooms or lurking outside court complexes, waiting to arrest immigrants who are in the country illegally," reported the LA Times in March.
It apparently doesn't matter that the agency has faced stiff resistance from judges and prosecutors over this policy, who have both claimed that it will mean people won't show up to court. And fears are not just conjecture: a Denver city attorney was recently forced to drop four domestic violence cases because the witnesses were too afraid to come into court for fear of being deported.
Many groups, including the ACLU, have also accused Ice of targeting non-violent activists who protest the Trump administration's increasingly draconian immigration policy with arrest.
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Trevor Timm is a co-founder and the executive director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation. He is a writer, activist, and lawyer who specializes in free speech and government transparency issues. He has contributed to The (more...)