Tag: ICE

Prank Calls to VOICE Hotline

There have been a lot of prank calls to Trump’s just-launched VOICE line, which you call to share stories about how you’ve been victimized by illegal aliens. A lot of prank calls. A lot of prank calls about Alien aliens. Which has somehow come as a surprise to them.

Adding to the frenzy was the fact that VOICE’s launch date of April 26 was also “Alien Day”—a reference to the moon featured in James Cameron’s 1986 classic, Aliens (LV-426. Get it?).

“Marine veteran Alexander McCoy told Buzzfeed News that he was inspired to call VOICE’s hotline after seeing #AlienDay trending on Twitter.

“I told them I’d been abducted by a UFO,” he told the site. “There was a long pause. I heard them do a big sigh. And they closed out the conversation saying that they’d make a note of it and I should wait for the DHS to investigate my report.”

—”We Asked ICE About the Prank Calls to Their Anti-Immigrant Hotline and They Kind of Lost Their Shit” (Fusion, Rafi Schwartz)

The fatal flaw of Big Brother “report on your neighbor” programs nobody wanted, like this and the fabled Muslim registry, is that resistance is easy and fun, and ICE is going up against both meme culture and an army of people used to making daily calls to congress. What’s one more number on the list? Keep making that rough music, American heroes.

Callers have also bravely snitched on bigfoot and some muggles.


Cinco de Mayo In a Time of Immigration Sweeps

Philly Cinco de Mayo celebration canceled over immigration crackdown fears” by Brooke Seipel at The Hill

This makes me terribly sad. As a Texan, I have been to many exuberant Cinco de Mayo parades. And I can picture, in my mind’s eye, the skirt-twirling ballet folklorico dancers and mariachi musicians and pickup trucks decorated with handmade fake flowers, and the end of the street suddenly closing in with windowless vans and menacing men in uniforms, sweeping into the stream.

Rex says: More than enough. Evil is at the wheel.

Gang of Eight

When you call your congresspeople today, maybe bug them about reviving the Gang of Eight immigration reform bill (aka The Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013, S.744). It passed the Senate 68-32 last time but was never called for a vote in the house. Most of those senators are still there.

The fast-paced deportations Trump and ICE are working on are taking place against the background of a legal immigration system pretty much everybody agrees is broken. The law the executive branch is enforcing so rigorously? Bad, stupid, outdated. Inhmane to immigrants who follow the law and still can’t catch a break. Overly punitive to people who make small, accidental mistakes. Misaligned with what we want for our economy.

We know we need reform. We know how. Get this bill back on the agenda. One way to get rid of bad law enforcement is to get rid of bad laws. It’s our job as citizens to demand proactive, long-term fixes, and not get stuck jumping at each new shadow cast by the flame of this single problem. Snuff it at the source. Call Congress.

Already Extreme Vetting

Most likely, over the next few days, we’ll hear a bunch of people try to stake out a middle ground that says, “the executive order goes too far, but it’s sensible to do more scrupulous vetting of refugees.” Sounds reasonable! But it doesn’t bear up under scrutiny.

Does anybody honestly believe we’re not already using all the available information to investigate refugees before we allow them to immigrate? Do you imagine that when we search for a criminal history, we choose not to check some of the available databases? That doesn’t sound like us. We are actively looking for reasons to reject applications, not the other way around.

Will a few refugees commit crimes if we let in a lot of refugees? Sure. Doesn’t mean our application process isn’t the best we can make it. Think about ivy league college applications, and how competitive the application process is for that handful of coveted spots – and how despite this, not everyone graduates, and oh yeah there are some rapes on campus. Think about the hiring process at Fortune 500 companies with vast HR and audit departments, and how embezzling still manages to occur. (Refugee screening is, of course, more rigorous than either of those nerve-wracking, drawn-out, paperwork-heavy audition processes.)

I’m not convinced it’s genuinely possible to do “extreme vetting.” Even with a wealth of data, you can’t tell for sure what someone’s going to do 10 years out – not even you. We all already know this, in our hearts of hearts.

If someone demands perfection, where perfect means “able to predict the future with complete accuracy,” it’s not a serious negotiating position. All you can really say is “let’s let x-number of people in, and make sure ICE agents have enough funding to do their work as sorters.” Anybody who doesn’t name a number is weasling around.