If you decide to lie to or hide information from the authorities, this action can be a crime and can get you into trouble. But what happens when the authorities are the ones who lie or hide information? Do they have to be accountable? Apparently, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is immune to the consequences, at least for now.
Across the country, a series of complaints against ICE has prompted a movement that proposes abolishing this agency. This agency is supposed to protect us from dangerous criminals, that is the legal justification for its existence, but ICE is accused of concentrating on non-criminal immigrants, as well as being heartless toward crime victims and arresting them in civil courts.
From (when President Donald Trump took office) to , 2,180 immigrant arrests were made, 697 of which were solely for violations of federal immigration law. This was a 509% increase compared to the same period in 2016, when a total of 1,327 arrests were made, 137 of which were immigrants without criminal charges.
Another one of the most reported complaints against ICE is the use of deceptive techniques to arrest immigrants. On , Samuel Oliver Bruno, who has been in a safe haven in a church in Durham for almost a year, was arrested by ICE agents while on his way to an appointment. This appointment was required by the immigration authorities so they could take his fingerprints as part of the Deferred Action application process.
According to witnesses of the arrest, the immigrant was set up because he showed up for the appointment, but when he arrived at the offices of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), two ICE officers were waiting for him. They approached where he was waiting in line to enter, and they unnecessarily tackled him to the floor to handcuff him.
Samuel Oliver Bruno, who suffers from diabetes, is the only economic support for his wife (who suffers from several chronic diseases, including Lupus), and for his son Daniel, who is an American citizen, student, and talented athlete at J.H. Rose High School in Greenville, NC.
Take another example– relatives of an immigrant arrested in an ICE operation held in April in North Carolina reported that the federal agency used deceptive tactics to arrest Edwin Osman Enamorado Aguilar.
According to the wife of the Honduran immigrant, the agents tricked her daughter in order to enter her home. They told her that they were searching for someone else and that they only wanted to look around the house. However, once they were let in, they asked for identification and they arrested her husband and another immigrant who lived in her house. Edwin Osman Enamorado Aguilar was a very active pastor in the community and is the father of three children, all American citizens, ages 18, 14, and 2. The immigrant’s wife said that they lived in Durham for 21 years and moved to Hillsborough in .
It is surprising the level of planning, as well as the use of human and economic resources, that the authorities invest to arrest immigrants who do not represent any danger to the country. It is not difficult to foresee that in the not too distant future, a new government will assess the deceptions and the misuse of resources by ICE, and this agency will close down.