Congress Needs To Hold ICE Accountable for Abuses
When Karah de Oliveira and her husband, Fabiano, showed up at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Office in Lawrence, Massachusetts, they expected to have an interview about their marriage, the first part of an application for a green card. Fabiano has lived in the U.S. since 2005 and the two have a 5-year-old son together.
But Immigration and Customs Enforcement had other ideas.
ICE arrested Fabiano, who became one of many members of our communities who have been arrested while trying to normalize their status, in the latest example of how aggressive ICE has become since President Trump’s inauguration.
In the past year, ICE has gone after parents dropping off their children at school; primary caregivers to family members with disabilities; domestic abuse survivors seeking legal protections; religious minorities who fear persecution; political activists; community leaders; and people who work everywhere from convenience stores to dairy farms.
While ICE abuses certainly predate the arrival of the Trump administration, there has been a notable increase in the number of arrests of people who don’t have criminal records, those who show up to routine check-in meetings with agents, and even people previously offered humanitarian exceptions. ICE has also ramped up arrests at courthouses, which dissuades victims and witnesses from reporting crimes or testifying in trials, and rescinded an Obama-era directive instructing agents to exercise discretion with military veterans and college students who are undocumented. . . .