In a decision that should be terrifying to the entire world, the current administration has announced that it will transfer approximately 1,600 immigrants currently held in Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) custody to federal prisons.
UPDATED 06/11/18 09:50 A.M. PST: A Manhattan federal judge has temporarily halted the deportation of Pablo Villavicencio until July 20.
ICE is already in the spotlight today after a story went viral of a pizza delivery worker who was arrested by the agency after he delivered a pizza to the Fort Hamilton Army base in New York City.
And in equally depressing and disturbing news, an Iowa Dreamer who was forced out of the country under threat of deportation was found murdered in the Mexican state of Zacatecas. Manuel Antonio Cano Pacheco’s throat was slit in what his family suspects was a gang-related attack.
He was only 19 years old and was brought to the U.S. when he was just a toddler.
As the current administration doubles down on its policies of separating children from their parents, incarcerating immigrants, and mass trials and deportations, people are dying.
Pacheco is not the first, nor will he be the last if these policies are allowed to continue unchecked.
Just last month, Roxana Hernandez died in ICE custody in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
She had been in custody awaiting deportation for two weeks, and although her official cause of death is cardiac arrest, advocacy groups have argued that she died as a result of medical negligence on the part of immigration officials.
And now, ICE is employing dishonest guerrilla tactics such as luring someone into a trap by exploiting their means of employment in order to deport them.
Pablo Villavicencio is an Ecuadorian immigrant who supports a family of four — his wife, Sandra, and their two daughters.
He had delivered pizzas to the Fort Hamilton Base dozens of times before, and had always been granted entry upon presenting his New York City-issued ID. This time, however, he was told that he needed a driver’s license to enter the base, prompting one military police officer to run a background check that uncovered an ICE warrant from 2010.
“It’s cruel that they have to, that they’re going to separate my daughters from him. He is supporting the family. Now I’m going to be by myself, alone with two kids.” — Sandra Chica
Villavicencio is currently being held in a detention center in New Jersey awaiting his scheduled deportation.
Much like the secret police of Germany during World War II, United States ICE agents are engaging in dishonest, deceitful tactics to expose and deport immigrants who pose absolutely no threat whatsoever to the safety of our country or the well-being of our people.
“Does the Army now have some new policy that demands all nonmilitary personnel show proof of citizenship to gain access onto the Army base? Otherwise, what happened here? Is this part of some new Donald Trump deportation strategy? … You’re tearing families apart. For what? How are we any safer today than we were yesterday?” — New York City Councilmember Justin Brannan
And now, to top off the ever-growing list of atrocities, the federal government will oversee the transfer of 1,600 immigrants from detention centers to federal prisons.
Most are being sent to a prison complex in Victorville, California, while the Northwest Immigrant Rights Projectsays that as many as 120 immigrants are being held at SeaTac prison in Seattle. The project reports that many, if not most, are asylum applicants.
If this doesn’t alarm you, if this doesn’t remind you of the way Hitler slowly ramped up the capture and imprisonment of German Jews, then you haven’t been paying attention.
The decisions and policies enacted by this administration clearly point to a systematic attempt to purge the United States of America of the very people on whose backs this nation was built.
We need to be honest with ourselves in acknowledging that each and every one of us, excluding indigenous peoples, is an immigrant; that we are living on stolen land, and that borders should not dictate peoples’ lives.
More than anything, though, we as a country, as a people, need to ban together to demand an end to these inhumane, immoral, deadly practices and policies and work towards a society in which we embrace the contributions of each of our residents, regardless of their official status.