“[Y]ou have to remember that our job is not to judge.”
When Donald Trump took office in January, it appeared that Immigration And Customs Enforcement agents would be given the green light to ramp up enforcement. In many ways, they have done just that. But the policies enacted under Trump’s administration have also angered many ICE veterans, who now see their department as little more than a gang of witch hunters. Agents who were hired to adhere to the law, are now entitled by policy to indiscriminately target all immigrants, regardless of circumstance.
A veteran ICE agent spoke to the New Yorker about the negative impact these changes have had in his department. He makes no issue with the fact that his department exists to deport people, but he says that under the previous administrations, there was at least something resembling due process. “We used to look at things through the totality of the circumstances when it came to a removal order,” the unnamed agent said, adding, “that’s out the window.”
The agent also said fellow agents are letting their personal biases guide their work: “[Y]ou have to remember that our job is not to judge. The problem is that now there are lots of people who feel free to feel contempt.”
Recently, a new policy has come down the line, which allows agents to targets minors for arrest. Previously, these undocumented youths were allowed to stay in the care of families. Until now, the ICE agent had kept quiet over his growing frustrations with the department, but targeting children was too much for him. That’s why he’s decided to speak up.
For the entire interview, read the piece at The New Yorker.
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