Internal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) emails published Wednesday by The Intercept reveal the intense public relations purposes of the national round-ups of immigrants that began with raids on February 6.
ICE headquarters sent out an “URGENT” order to offices around the country to “Please put together a white paper covering the three most egregious cases” in each district where raids took place, the emails showed.
The “white papers” were to be released to the press to show that the immigrants being arrested were a danger to the community. Acknowledging that the raids were mainly targeting low-priority immigrants, the email added “If a location has only one egregious case — then include an extra egregious case from another city.”
The emails, which were heavily redacted, were released through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by a request from students at the Vanderbilt University Law School.
In Austin, Texas, the ICE team sent to make arrests was instructed that “As soon as you come in, your sole focus today will be compiling three egregious case write-ups.” The arrests were the first move by the new Trump administration, in office for only two weeks, to demonstrate to the president’s base that he was fulfilling his promise to begin mass deportations. The manufacture of “egregious case” reports by ICE was designed to paint immigrants as criminals.
When the public outcry in Austin put ICE on the defensive, the federal agency told reporters that ICE was “removing from the streets criminal aliens and other threats to the public, ICE helps improve public safety.”
When the news media found that many of those arrested were without criminal records, ICE backtracked and claimed that its operations were just normal and routine enforcement of warrants and told reporters that it was “false, dangerous, and irresponsible” to report otherwise. All the while, President Trump was tweeting jubilantly about the raids, making them appear anything but routine.
According to The Intercept reporter Alice Speri, the emails reveal that “in the early days of Donald Trump’s presidency, ICE agents in Austin scrambled — and largely failed — to engineer a narrative that would substantiate the administration’s claims that the raids were motivated by public safety concerns.”
The evidence, of course, is that many of those arrested posed no danger at all. The recent report from WNYC also showed that raids in New York included those charged with minor crimes. More and more, it is becoming clear that these arrests are politically motivated, and ICE was and still is used as a tool for Donald Trump’s seemingly permanent political campaign.
During the Republican Primaries last year, immigration consistently polled at or near the bottom of ten issues throughout the campaign. Border security is far more important an issue. The overwhelming majority of Americans are not as focused on the status of the undocumented as they are on matters economic. It is by far mostly the ‘Tea Partyers’ who are focused on deportations. Most people want secure borders but they would also
be open to a path of legalization for the undocumented, especially those who were brought here as innocent children. People are conflating the two separate issues of ‘border security’ with any action on ‘immigration reform’. Granted they are related, but border security also relates to the illicit drug trade, terrorism, and espionage, etc. Many believe that granting DACA persons legality would cost the US jobs. Ironically, it is the legal distribution of visas to countries such as Communist China and India that actually costs us millions of jobs. These are the two same countries to which we are relocating our manufacturing industries wholesale. This portion of Legal Immigration is costing us loss of domestic productivity ( and jobs ). The loss of much of our domestic productivity is so serious that we now need to import much of which we buy. We are even depending on some foreign manufacturers to build some of our weapons or portions of our weapon systems (this also means that we are distributing much of our national secrets to foreign nations and competitors). This is just plain crazy ! Tea Party types NEVER decry the loss of jobs through the quid-pro-quo legal immigration. They appear to simply not want Hispanics here. They appear to me to be xenophobic. When a US manufacturer wishes to expedite or facilitate its relocation to a part of China, for example, it might try to facilitate the granting of visas to the sons and daughters of the powerful people in those countries in consideration of being granted permission to open a factory there. This aspect of legal immigration is dangerous to our national security. We must tighten the rules of legal immigration. And this is far far more important and urgent than what we do with those undocumented who are here already.
If we grant the undocumented legal status, we will be increasing demand for autos, tools, houses, schools, auto insurance, etc. Granting them legal status will require the hiring of persons to meet these new demands. Perhaps then we could put some of the 94,000,000 ‘professionally’ and perpetually un-employed Americans.