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What Happens When The 'Bad Hombres' Are ICE Agents? - Sandra Hernandez

February 27, 2017 (1 min read)

Sandra Hernandez, MALDEF, Feb. 26, 2017 - "Whenever U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement insists it is just doing its job, Americans should take a closer look at what is happening. With an executive order signed in his first week in office, President Trump has “taken the shackles off” ICE and Border Patrol officers, according to the White House, expanding the priorities for deporting immigrants. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly claims his agents will focus on those convicted of or charged with crimes, but immigrant advocacy groups and the news media already have documented arrests, detentions and deportations of immigrants who in no way represent a threat to public safety. From 2006 through early 2010, I reported on Immigration and Customs Enforcement. What I learned was that no matter the ostensible priorities of federal agencies — or even settled law — ICE was an agency prone to overreach. ... [A]nyone on U.S. soil — citizen or not — ought to be entitled to due process. The president says he will keep our country safe. ICE appears to have decided that when it cannot find serious criminals, it will protect us from the depredations of students, nannies and strawberry pickers."

Sandra Hernandez is the vice president for communication at the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund. She covered criminal justice and immigration for the L.A. Daily Journal.