U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers should not be allowed to identify as police officers according to a recently filed class action lawsuit by the open borders lobby.
“ICE officers misrepresent themselves as police or probation to trick individuals into granting them entry into or otherwise relinquishing the privacy of their homes,” the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Southern California, the UC Irvine School of Law Immigrant Rights Clinic, and the law firm Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP asserted in its lawsuit.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Osny Sorto-Vasquez Kidd, a recipient of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and two other community organizations.
“It’s not right how ICE impersonated police officers and lied their way into my family’s home,” Kidd said. “I’m so grateful to have DACA because it is supposed to offer protections, but what they’re doing is just wrong.”
While this case revolves around semantics and may not be of large importance to the casual reader, its implications will affect safety among ICE officers and community members.
So, let’s get the facts straight. ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) officers, the officers typically assigned to make arrests in a community, are sworn federal law enforcement officers who are in charge of upholding federal immigration law. These officers conduct similar law enforcement duties as community police officers. These include patrols, arrests, and maintaining knowledge of laws and ordinances. Simply put, their responsibilities are nearly identical to those of a police officer. Not classifying ICE agents as police officers would be as foolish as not calling the sky blue.
The lawsuit further suggests that “ICE’s practices [of identifying as police officers]do not further public safety and, in fact, make our communities less safe.” But not allowing ICE to identify as police officers actually makes communities and agents less safe.
If ICE agents are no longer able to identify themselves as police officers, it may result in life-or-death scenarios. Having the ability to easily identify ICE agents in a community deters criminals from inflicting harm on agents and community members. It also helps victims of a crime to flag down agents in the event of an emergency.
The use of the word “POLICE” on vehicles, clothing, and other markers alerts community members that law enforcement is present. It is a universally recognized symbol of law enforcement in most languages, and can be easily identified by those who are not native English speakers. In a state like California, which has the largest illegal alien population in the country, banning the use of this word is misguided and would endanger public safety.
The lawsuit is filed on behalf of a DACA recipient who claims that his program “is supposed to offer protections” and what ICE agents did to him is “just wrong.”
What is wrong however, is the notion that DACA is “supposed to offer protections” from law enforcement. DACA recipients, just as American citizens, must adhere to the nation’s laws and are not exempt from the rule of law. What ICE agents did to Osny Sorto-Vasquez Kidd is not wrong either. The agents were enforcing his previous order of removal from the country that had existed for some 14 years. He had potentially brought attention to himself through a DUI charge in April of 2018.
What is evident is that the open borders lobby lawsuit is part of a politically-motivated effort to make sure that ICE cannot effectively carry out its duties. Moreover, it creates potentially dangerous scenarios for ICE agents, community members, and illegal aliens. The individual also involved in the lawsuit is by no means a victim and should take responsibility for his own actions rather than placing blame on others.