Where are the tens of thousands of bad hombres, U.S. ICE?
Felicia Persaud | 7/18/2019, 1:18 p.m.
At least seven days before Sunday, July 14—the promoted start of Donald Trump’s newly touted ICE raids—the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency announced it had arrested 20 “criminal” and immigration violators during a five-day enforcement surge in San Diego, California.
This means the raids had begun earlier than announced. That aside, however, among the “criminals” ICE reported arresting during the San Diego “surge” were a 31-year-old Mexican national who had been sentenced to 144 days for a DUI (Driving Under The Influence) conviction and then failed to leave the U.S. based on a mandatory deportation order; and a 33-year-old Mexican national who was previously ordered removed by an immigration judge in 2007 but subsequently re-entered the U.S. seven times illegally. Additionally, he had two additional DUI arrests.
These are some of the major “convicted criminals” Trump has sent his ICE men to round up and deport out of the United States at a huge burden to the taxpayers of this country.
Let me be clear. I am all for deporting dangerous criminals out of these United States that I have called home since 1996. And I am all for keeping dangerous criminals out. But that is not what this administration is doing.
While Trump and the U.S. ICE agency purports to be removing huge numbers of mostly “convicted criminals,” the reality is that the dangerous criminals being removed are a minor fraction of the overall removal numbers.
Most—like the two Mexican nationals iced in San Diego—have committed small crimes like Driving Under the Influence or entering the country illegally, and then staying on despite an order of removal.
U.S. ICE’s own statistics tells this story. In FY2018, Enforcement and Removal Officers removed 256,086 immigrants from the U.S. But while ICE was quick to tout that 57 percent were “convicted criminals,” the fact is that a mere 5,914 of the 256,086 removed immigrants were classified as “either known or suspected gang members or terrorists.”
That is unlike what Donald Trump lies and squawks about.
Worst, it’s fast being reported that many of the immigrants rounded up and deported are military veterans who put their life on the line for this country, unlike the commander in chief who opted out of service due to a purported bone-spur.
The Government Accountability Office is even recommending that ICE check to see whether the people it picks up are military veterans before kicking them out of the country.
ICE’s own on the book policies require agents to consider a veteran’s military record before beginning the process of removal from the country as well as time in service, awards and deployments. The U.S. ICE’s own policies also call for deportation cases that might involve veterans to be referred to higher headquarters for a decision.
But officials at the Department of Homeland Security, the parent agency of ICE, have admitted they haven’t considered the veteran and non-veteran status in removal proceedings and are unaware of their own policies.
The harsh reality is that we are living in an era where being Black and Brown and immigrant is the only “trump card” to getting iced out and kicked out. This is not about dangerous criminal immigrant gang members or terrorists. It’s not even about undocumented or documented. This all boils down to being Black, Brown and immigrant in Trump’s America!
The writer is publisher at NewsAmericasNow.