Left-wing actor and director Tim Robbins – of Shawshank Redemption fame – recently slandered U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) as the modern-day American equivalent of the genocidal Nazi German SS and a bunch of racist ethnic-cleansers.
This is not the first time a radical leftist has at once exposed his historical ignorance and fanatical hatred of any immigration enforcement. For example, last June Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) referred to ICE detention facilities as “concentration camps” run by “an authoritarian and fascist presidency.” And it will certainly not be the last such utterance. And yet, such propaganda cannot go unanswered – especially since an alarming number of our fellow countrymen are blissfully unaware of 20th-century history.
Robbins’ Twitter rant ran as follows: “ICE are massively funded, militarized police whose function is to deport people of color. Ethnic cleansing in America. Now they are a massively funded, militarized SECRET police (SS) that don’t have to identify themselves or answer to anyone. What could go wrong? #AbolishICE.”
The actor-director was responding to a June 11 decision by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to approve ICE’s request to be classified as a “security/sensitive” agency for Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) purposes. As a result, OPM now withholds all personally identifiable information of ICE employees while processing FOIA requests, just as it does with law enforcement agencies and federal prosecutors.
However, this does not make ICE – which remains accountable to oversight by the elected representatives of the American people – a “secret police” agency. By contrast, the actual secret police organizations run by totalitarian regimes (be they Nazi, communist, Islamist, etc.) are only accountable to the dictator or a few top leaders. And their job description is not the enforcement of immigration law, but rather the infiltration, surveillance, and ultimately destruction of political opponents, all the while intimidating and terrorizing the general population.
The main reason for reclassifying ICE as a “security” agency was not to serve as some kind of American Gestapo or KGB. Rather, as ICE Deputy Director, Matthew T. Albence, explained: “The increase in threats, intimidation, and doxing directed at ICE personnel in recent years underscored the need for this designation.” Or, to be more blunt, the designation was necessary because some people on the radical left – who imagine themselves waging some sort of heroic resistance struggle against a new Third Reich – believe that their ends justify any means (itself a hallmark of totalitarian movements).
Now let us return to the ridiculous and slanderous essence of Robbins’ claim about ICE. Can one honestly posit a moral equivalency between an immigration law enforcement agency (which is something that almost every country has) in a democratic nation and an evil totalitarian organization that exterminated millions of Europeans (Jews, Poles, Russians, Roma, and many others) on the basis of an extreme biological-racist ideology? SS military units also participated in Germany’s invasions and conquests of most of the European continent – from the Atlantic Ocean to the outskirts of Moscow – thereby violating the national sovereignty and borders of other countries and nations.
By contrast, ICE removes foreign nationals who enter or remain in the country unlawfully – including dangerous criminals – back to their homelands. Not exactly the same thing as shipping people in cattle cars to perish in gas chambers. Race or ethnicity are not an issue here. A Caucasian illegal alien from, say, Poland, does not get a free pass or preferential treatment from ICE while illegally-present “people of color” don’t. Nor has the U.S. in general, or ICE units in particular, recently invaded, say, El Salvador or Honduras and attempted to “ethnically cleanse” the local population.
Moreover, alleging that ICE equals the Nazi SS is a painful slap in the face of the actual victims of the Nazis and their descendants while effectively trivializing the horrendous crimes committed by the Third Reich. That is why wealthy, out-of-touch leftist celebrities should consider reading up on the past before making false, apples-and-oranges historical analogies that reveal their shallow and superficial knowledge of history and politics.