(Editor’s Note: Whenever the majority permits the abuse and persecution of some, it is just a matter of time before that creeping totalitarian abuse affects everyone. History has shown that over and over. Beware my fellow citizens — the freedom of you and your children are at risk. – Mark L. Taylor)
By Andea Germanos
Common Dreams (1/10/18)
Immigrant rights advocates denounced the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids carried out Wednesday at nearly 100 7-Eleven stores across the nation.
According to Cristobal Gutierrez, employment legal advocate at Make the Road New York, they are “yet another example of the escalating attacks from the Trump administration and its rogue ICE agents on immigrant communities.”
In the early morning raids at 98 stores in 17 states and Washington, D.C., agents conducted interviews and left audit notifications, and arrested 21 individuals suspected of being undocumented.
Top immigration official warns the blitz is “a harbinger of what’s to come”.
“Today’s actions send a strong message to U.S. businesses that hire and employ an illegal workforce: ICE will enforce the law, and if you are found to be breaking the law, you will be held accountable,” said ICE Acting Director Thomas Homan.
“Businesses that hire illegal workers are a pull factor for illegal immigration and we are working hard to remove this magnet,” he added.
The management-targeting raids were conducted to follow up on 2013 investigations to ensure that “the company has taken the proper steps towards more responsible hiring and employment practices,” ICE said.
Texas-based 7-Eleven Inc., for its part, put the blame for potential unlawful hiring on franchise owners, who “are solely responsible for their employees, including deciding who to hire and verifying their eligibility to work in the United States,” the company said.
The National Immigration Law Center described the actions as “extremely unnerving,” while Gutierrez called them “a family separation tactic—nothing more, nothing less—meant to stoke fear in the hearts of our community.”
Derek Benner, a top official at ICE, told AP that the blitz was “the first of many” and “a harbinger of what’s to come” for employers and could target any “industry, big, medium and small.”
Gutierrez, however, stressed that “In a moment where Trump and ICE are doing everything they can to harm our communities, we are equipping our community with the tools they need to protect themselves and their families. Our communities are here to stay.”
Ice Agents Are Out Of Control. And They Are Only Getting Worse
By Trevor Timm
The Guardian (5/31/17)
ith 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 restaurants 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.
The agency is so harmful to civil rights, there’s a good argument it should be disbanded altogether, but unfortunately it seems they are only becoming more emboldened with each passing week.
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.
While the anecdotes are horrifying, the numbers tell a similar story. Arrests of undocumented immigrants have increased substantially over Trump’s first few months in office. According to numbers released by the government, over Trump’s first 100 days, Ice arrested over 41,000 individuals – a 37.6% increase over a year earlier, which they openly bragged about on the Ice website.
Worse, the arrests of non-violent immigrants with no criminal record whatsoever has exploded, more than doubling …