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The New DHS M.O.: Dine, Discriminate and Detain

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ICE Agents in Michigan profile and arrest Latino restaurant workers after enjoying breakfast

This, from a follow up story in MLive.com on a recent ICE raid at an Ann Arbor restaurant:

It started with a breakfast order – waffles, bacon, eggs and toast – and ended with handcuffs and questions about the immigration status of restaurant workers.

Sava Lelcaj, owner of Sava’s Restaurant in Ann Arbor, said a compliment to the chef from a pair of plainclothes Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents preceded the raid that resulted in three arrests and the brief detention of a green card-carrying line cook.

Meanwhile, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary John Kelly spent much of the week testifying on behalf of the Trump Administration’s budget request for billions of dollars to ramp up its mass deportation agenda. He was quick to defend his agents, demonize immigrants, and make the increasingly bogus claim that his deportation force was focused on serious criminals.

Three headlines on how ICE practices that discriminate and detain

For us, the three headlines below capture the real state of play and the abhorrent disconnect between the story that Sec. Kelly is trying to spin and the reality on the ground:

Associated Press: “US immigration agents eat, arrest 3 at Michigan restaurant”

The owner of a Michigan restaurant says U.S. immigration agents who were conducting enforcement at the business ate breakfast before arresting three workers.

Washington Examiner: “DHS: ‘We’re never going to run out of illegal aliens who are also criminals’”

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly saidWednesday that DHS is asking for more funding for detention beds in its 2018 budget request because there is no end in sight of the need to temporarily house criminal illegal aliens….”We’re never going to run out of illegal aliens who are also criminals,” [Kelly] said.

New York Times: “Trump Budget Takes Broad Aim at Undocumented Immigrants”

President Trump’s first budget offers up dramatic policy shifts and hundreds of millions of dollars to clamp down on undocumented immigrants living in the United States, denying them tax credits, jobs and haven while funding a deportation force and flights home for those being removed.

The proposals, part of the $4.1 trillion blueprint the White House released Tuesday, offer the clearest indication yet of how Mr. Trump, who campaigned on a promise to build a southern border wall to keep immigrants from illegally entering the United States and hunt down and banish those who are already here, intends to carry out his crackdown. In a budget marked by steep cuts to social safety net programs, it is one of the few areas besides the military where the president proposes to increase funding.

According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice Education Fund:

Secretary Kelly continues to tell critics to ‘shut-up’, but maybe he should tell his agents to shape up. He lies when he says there’s an endless supply of “criminal aliens” and says nothing when his ‘unshackled’ agents dine, discriminate and detain unsuspecting and hardworking immigrants in a local restaurant. What, the Detroit ICE agents took a ‘lucky’ guess and arrested three, hard-working immigrants? Based on what? The color of their skin? The sound of their voice?

Welcome to Trump and Kelly’s America.