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ICE continues cold, bitter crackdown

by Lou Venditti - Staff Writer
Tue, Feb 20th 2018 09:00 pm
 ICE is an organization with a brutal reputation, and one that is well earned. ICE is often ruthless and uncaring in the efforts to find and remove immigrants living in this country illegally. It seems to combine this ruthlessness with a range of operation that allows it a wide breadth of abilities.
ICE is an organization with a brutal reputation, and one that is well earned. ICE is often ruthless and uncaring in the efforts to find and remove immigrants living in this country illegally. It seems to combine this ruthlessness with a range of operation that allows it a wide breadth of abilities.

It’s time to dismantle ICE. 

The full name, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which was formed in response to the Homeland Security Act of 2002, hasbeen acting as the black bag immigration official in the United States since 2003.     ICE is far from being a service for the good of the people, however. Rather ICE has proven itself to be among the most evil of all government agencies.

On January 24, ICE arrested a Kansas professor and father who had been living in the U.S. for three decades. Syed Ahmed Jamal, a Bangladesh native, came to the U.S. to further his education before settling down and finding residencey. He attempted to get citizenship, but the process remains incredibly intricate and difficult for aspiring citizens. ICE does not take this into consideration. 

The only question that arises out of this situation is what is the point of separating anyone from their family after they’ve lived in the U.S. for 30 years? He taught at a well known university. According to NBC News, the only record he had consisted of a traffic ticket or two. It just doesn’t make sense that something like this could happen. 

Jamal’s story isn’t the only one like this. Since Donald Trump has taken office, ICE deportations have increased for people already living in the country, according to Politifact.com The Trump administration has been putting ICE to work, cracking down on undocumented immigrants living in the U.S.

A similar event happened in Michigan this year. 39-year-old Jorge Garcia was deported after living in the U.S. since he was 10-years-old. In a video that was widely shared on social media, Garcia is seen hugging his crying family goodbye before boarding a plane to Mexico. 

Garcia turned out to be too old to even apply for DACA, or the Deferred Action for Child Arrivals. It was an Obama era policy that’s been hotly debated this past year with Trump entering office. Regardless of whether or not DACA is saved, ICE is an entirely different issue, to be sure.

One of the most reprehensible parts of Garcia’s deportation was ICE’s defense. In a statement to the press, ICE said they “exercised prosecutorial discretion” in handling Garcia’s case. He had initially come up for deportation in 2005, but Garcia battled back, having been in the U.S. for nearly two decades and having a family, however, ICE simply put his case on the back burner, leaving it to fester for a couple of years. The orginization stated that it revisited his case every year since 2011 without detaining Garcia, waiting for the right moment to deport him. It got that moment with Trump.

ICE’s ability to do this is one of the most frightening things about the agency. It's become an immigration gestapo, able to strike whenever it deems fit to tear families apart. It almost feels like a trap, where it waits long enough for its target to get comfortable before taking action. 

Aside from questioning the removal of someone who has been in the country for so long, one must ask what dictates whether someone should be removed or not. Here’s a hint: the answer is nobody. The people ICE have been targeting shouldn’t be removed. We must go further, as society, to question the very root of why these people are being targeted in the first place.

The world will keep turning while ICE does its bidding. ICE will keep trying to rid the U.S. of those who have experienced hell to get here and have contributed in important and positive ways. We cannot turn a blind eye. ICE is not our friend. ICE is not here to help. We must collectively reject the service that ICE wants to bring.

 

lvend1@u.brockport.edu

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