What Heinous Fuckery Is ICE Up To Now?
Not your magic bus.
The New Cruelty keeps finding endless ways to disgust us. As we said when he was elevated to chief of staff, former Homeland Security secretary John Kelly really had a talent for finding new ways to redefine everyone as a dangerous "criminal alien," because existing without papers is the worst crime ever. Today, two more examples of the war on immigrants and the ways Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has dreamed up to save us from the scourge of bad hombres who might be building houses, sewing clothes, or getting an education while flagrantly being without papers. You never know -- they could suddenly start attacking us with machetes, because all illegal immigrants are in the MS-13 gang, according to our president, who would never fib.
College-bound soccer players and murderous gang members are the SAME, DAMMIT.
Let's start with the case of Lizandro Claros Saravia, 19, and his brother Diego, 22, both of Gaithersburg, Maryland. Their parents brought them to America in 2009 illegally, so we should obviously stop treating them as human. They were ordered deported in 2012, but received a stay in 2013. After that, however, their subsequent stay applications were denied, even though both worked hard and finished high school. Lizandro accepted a scholarship to play soccer at Louisburg College in North Carolina, but when the brothers dutifully went to check in with ICE in Baltimore last Friday and Lizandro told the officers he'd been accepted to college and had an athletic scholarship, they were arrested. The brothers were deported to El Salvador Wednesday.
That happened to be the same day Donald Trump made his big speech announcing tough new standards for legal immigration (that will likely NEVER become law), though we're not sure if Lizandro and Diego had a chance to see it in all the rush to get them out of the country.
Under the Obama administration, undocumented immigrants with no criminal record wouldn't be subject to removal, since the emphasis was on deporting those who'd committed crimes. No such luck for dirty high school soccer stars who worked on their schools' literary magazine under Trump, though, because WHAT PART OF "ILLEGAL" DON'T YOU UNDERSTAND?
Turns out being a high achiever is part of what got Lizandro Claros Saravia and his brother in so much trouble. His attorney, Nick Katz of CASA de Maryland, said the deportation was the fastest he'd ever seen, and explained why:
“The ICE agents told me they were deporting the kids because Lizandro got into college, and that showed they intended to stay in the U.S.[.]”
Not so! insists ICE spokesperson Matthew Bourke, who said they were deported just because they could be, now that all undocumented people are presumed to be criminals. "They were issued a final order of removal by an immigration judge in 2012. That’s why they were removed," he said. He added that deportation orders for people like Lizandro and Diego are still made "on a case-by-case basis, meaning they can be done differently." It's just that now, the decision is always to deport, because WHAT PART OF "ILLEGAL" DON'T YOU UNDERSTAND? So America is now safe from high-achieving soccer players, and if Lizandro and Diego get murdered in El Salvador's gang violence, it sucks to be them.
Oh, and how's this for a funny trick to play on liberal do-gooders who try to stick their noses in ICE's business? Democratic Sen. Chris Van Hollen said his office was trying to win another reprieve for the brothers, but ICE whisked them out of the country before anything could be done:
“Shame on President Trump for tearing apart hardworking immigrant families,” he tweeted Wednesday evening. “We should be focused on MS-13, not scholarship winners.”
Silly liberal! Murderous gangs and soccer players are the same, and pretending there's any distinction would make America weak! USA! USA! USA! Thank White Jesus the law is being enforced, because The Law Is The Law. (Except when it comes to rich guys making profits from foreigners while presidenting.) Also we can't change the law because that would encourage criminal behavior by 11-year-olds 8 years ago. Why are you libtards complaining about law enforcement enforcing the law, say all the trolls in WaPo's comments, many of whom would scream mightily if given a ticket for going 5 mph over the speed limit.
California is not having your shit, ICE.
Over on the Left Coast, we're simultaneously disgusted by ICE's heinous fuckery most foul AND heartened to see that California won't put up with ICE's bullshit. Since November, ICE agents have shown up at least twice at California Labor Commission offices looking for undocumented workers who had filed claims against their employers for labor law violations. State officials suspect ICE officers were tipped off by the workers' employers as retaliation for reporting those violations. ICE also reportedly "contacted a state official and asked for details about an ongoing investigation into labor violations at several construction sites across Los Angeles," because of course it did.
But HOORAY FOR CALIFORNIA, because the state has instructed staff at Labor Commission offices to refuse entry to ICE agents who show up to arrest anyone unless they have a damned warrant:
Staff members should ask federal immigration agents “to leave our office, including the waiting room, and inform the agent[s] that the labor commissioner does not consent to entry or search of any part of our office,” the memo said.
If agents refuse to leave, the memo tells employees, demand a search warrant signed by a judge before allowing them onto the premises.
Su explained that if ICE were allowed to come into Labor offices willy-nilly, it would "have a substantial chilling effect on the willingness of workers to report violations and participate in our fight against wage theft," as if it were some kind of priority to make sure that employers comply with labor laws, even when their employees can be easily threatened. Does she know nothing about capitalism?
ICE spokesperson Virginia Kice said the agency had no record of the claim that ICE officers went to stat labor offices "seeking specific individuals":
“Consistent with its commitment to the fair and effective enforcement of federal hiring and immigration laws, the agency has longstanding guidelines and procedures designed to help ensure that ICE enforcement personnel do not become involved in labor disputes in the course of carrying out their mission,” Kice said.
We would just like to point out that "Virginia Kice, spokesperson for ICE," would make a nifty start to a satirical poem.
The problem of unscrupulous employers using various schemes to avoid paying minimum wage is especially bad when it comes to undocumented workers, who are often afraid to report violations. California law prohibits companies from retaliating against employees by calling La Migra on them, but California state Labor Commissioner Julie Su said that's exactly what happened both times ICE came nosing around labor offices:
The ICE agents who came to the Van Nuys and Santa Ana offices asked for the specific workers involved in the proceedings by name, and arrived within a half hour of when the meetings with employers were supposed to begin, Su said [...]
The timing of wage hearings isn’t public, and generally the worker and employer are the only ones who know that information outside of the agency.
“We should not enable unscrupulous employers who use immigration status as a vulnerability to retaliate unlawfully against a worker who is seeking our protection,” Su said.
Clearly, everything in California is upside down. What kind of crazy place fails to see that immigration laws must be enforced with iron rigidity, but labor laws are unfair regulations that hurt profits? You can't expect the government to enforce every last stupid labor regulation, especially if the people being ripped off are here illegally, which means they have no rights to start with.
To paraphrase the timeless Gil Scott Heron, God damn it, first one gets rights, then the whole damn world wants rights.
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Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.