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The Un-American ICE

We're watching proto-fascist behavior in action.

ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations officers, in search of 32-year-old Hugo Medina, question his mother Magdalena Medina, 69, about his whereabout in a morning raid on his residence in Riverside. (Photo: Irfan Khan, LA Times via Getty Images)

When the damage done by this administration* is toted up, assuming there will be somebody left to count the cost, the unleashing of Border Patrol and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement division, and the subsequent depredations thereof, are going to rank right at the top of the list. If you want to see real fascism in action, look at what these people have been up to. Somebody leaves water in the desert for undocumented immigrants, and the Border Patrol pours it all out and then arrests the guy, according to The Washington Post:

What received wider attention, however, was a video that the Tucson-based aid group, No More Deaths, also distributed with its report. The footage, taken between 2010 and 2017, showed Border Patrol agents kicking over water jugs that had been left in the desert. In one clip, a male agent sneers at the person filming him, demanding to know whom the water is for, as he empties a gallon bottle of water onto the ground. Now the aid group is calling the arrest of one its volunteers suspicious. On Wednesday, Border Patrol agents arrested Scott Warren, 35, in the desert near Ajo, Ariz., about eight hours after the No More Deaths report and video were released.
Warren, a longtime volunteer with the group and a faculty associate at Arizona State University, was detained on preliminary felony charges of alien smuggling; he appeared in court Thursday and was released on his own recognizance, the group said in a statement. Border Patrol agents also arrested two people who were with Warren on Wednesday and “receiving humanitarian aid” at the time, according to No More Deaths. Those two people remain in custody, the group said.

It’s a felony to leave water for thirsty people? This is not America.

Meanwhile, ICE has run wild. They are busting parents while their kids are at school. They’re publicizing “sweeps” in cities like they’re chasing down Capone or someone. And there’s a very good possibility that, in the so-called “sanctuary cities,” we will see confrontations between ICE agents and local law enforcement. And now we have this latest insanity, whereby technology will be handed to an agency sliding swiftly toward a very dangerous point. From The Verge:

The system gives the agency access to billions of license plate records and new powers of real-time location tracking, raising significant concerns from civil libertarians. The source of the data is not named in the contract, but an ICE representative said the data came from Vigilant Solutions, the leading network for license plate recognition data. “Like most other law enforcement agencies, ICE uses information obtained from license plate readers as one tool in support of its investigations,” spokesperson Dani Bennett said in a statement. “ICE is not seeking to build a license plate reader database, and will not collect nor contribute any data to a national public or private database through this contract.

Of course not. What could I possibly be thinking?

This is not America.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

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Charles P. Pierce

Charles P. Pierce

Charles P. Pierce is a writer-at-large for Esquire and his work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the LA Times Magazine, the Nation, the Atlantic, Sports Illustrated and The Chicago Tribune, among others.

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