Secret ICE Castles

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Jacqueline Stevens, contributor to The Nation, talks about how and why immigration agents are holding United States residents in unlisted and unmarked subfield offices. Her most recent articles in The Nation are "America’s Secret ICE Castles," and "ICE Agents’ Ruse Operations."


Jacqueline Stevens

Comments [11]


One more thing - most of these immigrants ICE goes after are unrepentant and will confess, openly and without pretense, that as soon as they are released or deported they will attempt to return to the US.

They do not respect our laws or way of life and believe that what they're doing is perfectly fine and can't believe that repeated and continuing criminality might bring a harsher response from the law than would otherwise be merited under the circumstances.

ICE is not holding these people to "disappear" them, they are illegal aliens and subject to thorough vetting before they're deported, legally I might add, following their hearing.

The reason so many immigrants sign those papers relinquishing their rights to contest their detainment is because they get deported sooner and hence are back in the country illegally sooner - they are just playing the system.

The ones that won't sign the paper usually have good reason to avoid going back and that is why they have to be detained. Most of (if not all) of these longer term detainees have obvious gang affiliations, (tattoos are a give away)are violent and on the run from the law in their own countries.

Most immigrants rounded up by ICE are essentially economic refugees, which is not a legal argument for refugee status BTW, but a small dangerous minority are violent and ICE needs time to process them.

Jan. 06 2010 02:12 PM

What a joke - ICE detainment is no worse than any other type of state custody, in most cases it is better. Try Rikers, the Tombs, Queens or Brooklyn central processing ... just as bad or worse.

Get arrested on the weekend and you can expect to stand in a filthy holding cell, shoulder to shoulder for 48-72 hours. One toilet.

Hey bleeding hearts, visit a Louisiana Prison or even upstate where American citizen prisoners still supposedly have their "Civil Rights"; rights guaranteed by law as opposed to rhetoric like your "human rights".

Illegal immigrants are criminals, there is no getting around that - their presence in this country unlawfully is a criminal act. They do not deserve to be treated worse than any other criminal and they're not treated any worse - they just happen to have some advocates in the media dutifully updating us on the fact that jail is not fun. Wow, what a blinding insight.

Jan. 06 2010 01:45 PM
Ken from UWS

Beautifully said, Nat. But it is disquieting that so many WNYC listeners (one must assume these comments are from individual people) are willing to defend these illegal and inhuman practices. It makes me think that we are truly edging closer to a police state, one endorsed by its citizenry.

Jan. 06 2010 01:34 PM
Freddy Jenkins

Nat's right--
A nation that prides itself on the rule of law--to be able to treat all parties fairly--does not need to conduct itlself like any of the governemnts we hold as "Human rights violators"

Jan. 06 2010 01:04 PM
nat from Brooklyn

Everyone here is missing the point. It doesn't matter how other countries treat undocumented immigrants, what matters is how we treat them. If we are going to compare ourselves to the law enforcement of other countries, lets start the race to bottom and emulate Yemen or Somalia. If we are not ,going to stand up to our own moral and ethical standards, why do we even care about our country at all?

Our country is illegally (according to our own sovereign laws) detaining people and deporting our citizens. They are posing as religious missionaries, which is illegal. They are detaining people in terrible and dehumanizing conditions. Disappearing people without allowing their families to know what happened to them or provide any information whatsoever is what totalitarian states do. Is that who we are?

If you are rushing to defend these policies because they are not as bad as other places, you are willfully ignoring the better things about what our society is structured around. If your only standard for human rights is "not as bad as Mexico" or any other country, you have given up on the very idea that the United States is to stand above all the other nations through our example of how we exercise freedom.

ICE's current operation is as much of an exercise in freedom as Jim Crow.

Jan. 06 2010 12:55 PM

Jacqueline Steven is so smug and utterly repellent in her stupidity. How ought we to police the movements of people across our borders without enforceable immigration laws?

All she wants to do is further weaken the rule of law in order to strengthen her preferred political party - namely the democrats. There is only one very problematic border of the two land borders we share with other countries and that is Mexico, a third world narco-state which is currently in a state of civil war for all intents and purposes.

The influx of unskilled immigrants of Mexican and central American extraction pouring across our borders both illegally fattens corporate profits and undermines AMERICAN low wage earners like teenagers and the massive undereducated AMERICAN work force it is our governments responsibility to employ effectively. Not everyone can be a doctor, lawyer or engineer or more precisely, most people cannot afford or have the necessary intellectual skills to undertake those demanding jobs.

Additionally it is a form of racism no less pernicious than the scare mongering tactics of the right wing to essentially PREFER mexian and central american immigrants to legal immigrants from Africa, Asia and Europe.

Should LEGAL immigrants be penalized because illegal immigrants lucky enough to be able to walk across the Arizone desert into tax free healthcare, wages benefits provoke a justified backlash amongst law abiding Americans, immigrant, naturalize or native born?

The tired rhetoric and NPR's pathetic attempt at PC terminology (the undocumented?FU) is nothing but a cover story for increasing, illegally, the Democratic party's voter base at the expense of the constitutions and bill of Rights - lefties are just as cowardly as the right when it comes to consolidating power covertly.

Jan. 06 2010 12:53 PM
Xavier Anpar from NY, NY

I attended at Continuing Legal Education (CLE) seminar in Albany where the Public Defender speaker described the timing and procedure to get illegal aliens jailed for crimes (and that includes violent crimes) out of jail before ICE agents became aware of the presence of these illegals.

It is precisely this sort of conduct that leaves me dubious of people like Jacqueline Stevens. If Democrats want to make sure they lose the House of Representative in Nov 2010, just start the “Immigration Reform” boondoggle. Liberal Republicans / Independents like me still like Obama and think he’s doing just fine. We generally favor increased legal immigration along the Canadian model.
But if Democrats take up any action to legalize illegal immigrants, will leave the Dems behind in droves.

Jan. 06 2010 12:49 PM
Jorge from NJ

If they deported a US citizen without checking his background. It's for certain that they are also releasing sex offenders and other kind of criminals to countries with less possibilities to deal with them.

Jan. 06 2010 12:35 PM
Marco from New York

I'm a naturalized citizen. I followed the law. Of course in Ms. Stevens world laws don't make a difference only vague platitudes of individual freedom of movement, personal aspirations, etc. She has no idea what countries like Mexico do to illegal immigrants.

Jan. 06 2010 12:31 PM
Ken from UWS

The U.S. government is "disappearing" U.S. residents, throwing them into figurative and literal black holes. No human should be treated this way, I don't care where they're from or where they belong. WNYC should put a reporter on getting access to the Varick Street site and keep its listeners updated on the progress, a la "Roger and Me."

Jan. 06 2010 12:26 PM


Send them home IF they are here ILLEGALLY!
Mexico, Canada and other countries are nowhere near as lenient as the US.

Jan. 06 2010 12:10 PM

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