ICE (U. S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) is a cold, mean agency spurred on by Trump to commit unnecessary cruelty upon immigrants. His separation of children from their families was just one example. On Thursday AG Grewal delivered a rebuke to ICE’s aggressive immigration policies. ICE responded by saying it would double down on its arrests activities in New Jersey. ICE is seriously in need of drastic reforms.
Starting back in May Trump began unloading on Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen for failing to stop illegal border crossings. She tried to explain the issues were more complex, but the president was left unconvinced. On the verge of being fired for not being a strong enough defender of the border, she now, according to Monday’s POLITiCO article, is expected to survive a cabinet shake-up because of her tough stance in response to the Central American caravan of migrants. She has recently hailed Trump as a forceful “leader.”
NJ Attorney General Gurbir Grewal unveiled a new directive Thursday that restricts local law enforcement from participating in federal immigration operations, delivering a rebuke to the aggressive immigration policies of the Trump administration while attempting to improve trust with local police. Local police officers in New Jersey can no longer stop, search or detain any individual over immigration status or detain immigrants at the request of the federal, or ICE, except in cases of serious or violent crimes or final deportation orders, under the new rules.
ICE reacted by stating it would conduct more at-large arrests in response to Grewal’s directive. ICE said, “As a result of limited cooperation with local and state authorities, ICE will have no choice but to conduct at-large arrests in local neighborhoods and at worksites, which will inevitably result in additional collateral arrests. Johanna Calle, director of the New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice, retorted yesterday, ”They’re trying to hold the community hostage. They say either law enforcement and localities do ICE’s work for them or they’re going to terrorize communities. it’s a serious issue.”
I am reminded of how Hitler capitalized on economic woes, popular discontent and political infighting to take absolute power and began terrorizing entire communities with unimaginable results. Although we have not yet reached that final point, Trump and his ICE thugs must be stopped. A comprehensive new immigration law that encompasses our need for border security while protecting the rights of immigrants is much needed, but with Trump in power it is not on the horizon.
In the meantime the incoming 116th Congress must find a way quickly to reduce this cruelty. AG Grewal has created a reasonable policy. ICE’s spiteful response on doubling-down constitutes cruel and unusual punishment singled out to our state but a threat to our entire nation. It is a terrible state of affairs when the meanness that Trump personally seems to like and his own desire to sustain his anti-immigrant base have become the criteria for a cabinet member to retain her job. Trump’s unreasonable and insatiable vendetta must be curbed.