Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

There are less than 72 hours left in this Mid-Year Campaign and our independent journalism needs your help today.
If you value our work, please support Common Dreams. This is our hour of need.

Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Without your help, we won’t survive.

ICE agents stage a raid to arrest an undocumented immigrant in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn on April 11, 2018 in New York City.

ICE agents stage a raid to arrest an undocumented immigrant in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn on April 11, 2018 in New York City. (Photo: John Moore/Getty Images)

'The Moron Fascists': ICE Fails to Properly Redact Document Proposing 'Hyper-Realistic' Urban Warfare Training Facility

"Sure feels like ICE is positioning itself to become an all encompassing, no accountability, paramilitary force."

Eoin Higgins

Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the federal agency which carries out the bulk of President Donald Trump's war on immigrants, is building a "hyper-realistic" urban training ground in Fort Benning, Georgia.

The information was revealed in a poorly redacted acquisition form document posted online that was copy and pasted by Newsweek, revealing the camp's location and details. 

"They really are the moron fascists," tweeted podcast host Michael Brooks.

The proposal calls for  the construction of realisitic "residential houses, apartments, hotels, government facilities and commercial buildings."

"ICE is specifically interested in acquiring a 'Chicago' style replica, as well as an 'Arizona' style replica, with the agency expecting to dedicate a total estimated value of $961,347.75 to the effort," Newsweek reported.

ICE document

Newsweek explained the agency definition of "hyper-realism":

Hyper-realism, the agency states, is "a critical component to this acquisition as the details provide essential information that must be acknowledged, processed and acted upon to minimize risk to our Special Agents, Deportation Officers and SRT operators during high-risk search and arrest warrants, fugitive operations, undercover operations, hostage rescue, gang operations, etc."

The proposed facility had social media users sounding the alarm over what the training might mean for the future of the agency. 

"Sure feels like ICE is positioning itself to become an all encompassing, no accountability, paramilitary force," tweeted Erica Johnson, the director of AFSC's Iowa Immigrant Rights Program. "First they came for the immigrants..."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

Just a few days left in our crucial Mid-Year Campaign and we might not make it without your help.
Who funds our independent journalism? Readers like you who believe in our mission: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. No corporate advertisers. No billionaire founder. Our non-partisan, nonprofit media model has only one source of revenue: The people who read and value this work and our mission. That's it.
And the model is simple: If everyone just gives whatever amount they can afford and think is reasonable—$3, $9, $29, or more—we can continue. If not enough do, we go dark.

All the small gifts add up to something otherwise impossible. Please join us today. Donate to Common Dreams. This is crunch time. We need you now.

Markey, Bowman Join Climate Coalition in Urging SCOTUS Expansion

"We cannot sit idly by," said Markey, "as extremists on the Supreme Court eviscerate the authorities that the government has had for decades to combat climate change and reduce pollution."

Brett Wilkins ·


Ocasio-Cortez Says US 'Witnessing a Judicial Coup in Process'

"It is our duty to check the Court's gross overreach of power in violating people's inalienable rights and seizing for itself the powers of Congress and the president."

Brett Wilkins ·


Critics Say Biden Drilling Bonanza 'Won't Lower Gas Prices' But 'Will Worsen Climate Crisis'

"President Biden's massive public lands giveaway in the face of utter climate catastrophe is just the latest sign that his climate commitments are mere rhetoric," said one campaigner.

Kenny Stancil ·


Grave Warnings as Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Case That Threatens 'Future of Voting Rights'

"Buckle up," implores one prominent legal scholar. "An extreme decision here could fundamentally alter the balance of power in setting election rules in the states and provide a path for great threats to elections."

Brett Wilkins ·


Biden Urged to Take Emergency Action After 'Disastrous' Climate Ruling by Supreme Court

"The catastrophic impact of this decision cannot be understated," said Rep. Pramila Jayapal, but "we cannot accept defeat."

Kenny Stancil ·

Common Dreams Logo