The top of this week brings another batch of disturbing examples of how the Trump Administration’s deportation agencies Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) are out of control, terrorizing American families and trampling on decency and democratic values in the process.
Among the recent examples:
In Texas, Silvia Macuixele was detained after traveling through a Border Patrol checkpoint while accompanying her 4-year old son to the hospital for his emergency surgery.
Workers Defense Action fund highlighted a case involving Border Patrol checkpoints that has disturbing similarities to the case of Rosa Maria Hernandez, which sparked a national outcry. Silvia Macuixele was detained after she accompanied her 4-year-old son, Anthony de Jesus Rodriguez, to San Antonio Hospital from Laredo Medical Center Hospital in a hospital-issued ambulance through an interior Border Patrol checkpoint.
According to Workers Defense Action Fund, “Silvia Macuixele was told by the hospital officials in Laredo to send her 4-year-old son by himself, or accompany him and risk being deported. Silvia and her son left the Laredo Hospital at 3:00 AM in ambulance on Sunday, April 15th. After speaking to hospital officials, CBP agents followed the ambulance carrying Macuixele and her son to University Hospital in San Antonio … once the ambulance arrived agents followed the family into the hospital room. Macuixele has not been able to leave the hospital room, contact extended family, or speak to her lawyer.”
Update: we are hearing that the quick intervention by Workers Defense led to Silvia being released. We will be following up once we know more.
In Missouri, what should have been one of their proudest moments – a son’s military graduation – ended in a nightmare for two military parents.
Mundo Hispánico highlights a disturbing case in which parents attended their son’s military graduation at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri, but were turned over to ICE when they could not produce identification. The father spent fifty days in immigration jail, and was recently released on a high bond to await his next immigration hearing.
In Florida, a Palm Beach restaurant manager was told “This is Trump time” by ICE officers, and it’s time to prepare for his deportation.
Francisco Javier Gonzalez, a popular restaurant manager in Palm Beach, FL (in the vicinity of Mar a Lago), has lived in the county for decades, has no criminal record, and has a U.S. citizen wife and three U.S. citizen kids. Now he is scheduled to be deported by DHS and had ICE agents tell him, “This is Trump time now. The party of Obama is over.”
These are just some of the latest real-life examples of how Trump’s Deportation Force and mass deportation policy are devastating American families around the country. Among the notorious cast of characters responsible for shaping, implementing, and enabling these actions is ICE Director Thomas Homan, the subject of two recent profiles from Mother Jones and HuffPost.
Since taking over as acting director of ICE, Homan has gone from being a mostly anonymous civil servant to one of the most combative defenders of Trump’s immigration agenda. He has appeared on Fox News to say that politicians who limit cooperation with ICE should be charged with crimes and has staged retaliatory operations against their cities in the meantime. ICE arrests were up 41 percent last year and 171 percent among people without criminal records. ICE is now pursuing even the most sympathetic undocumented immigrants. That is part of Homan’s goal. Testifying before Congress last year, he warned, “If you’re in this country illegally…you should be uncomfortable. You should look over your shoulder, and you need to be worried.”
In Ohio, the family of Pedro Hernandez is still in shock and mourning his deportation from September 2017.
Pedro is one of the millions of men and women Homan had in mind when he made that statement. Pedro had lived in the United States for decades. He is a loving father of American citizens – including a young man with severe cerebral palsy – and an American wife. Under the previous Administration, Pedro was considered a “low priority” for deportation and qualified for a work permit. But in the summer of 2017 everything changed, simply because of the change in Administration. Pedro was deported in September and the family has yet to find a way to move forward.
Univision’s “Aqui y Ahora” followed up on their struggles in a searing piece last night, featuring interviews with Pedro’s wife Seleste, his daughter Stephanie, and America’s Voice’s Lynn Tramonte. Talking about her daily phone call with Pedro, Seleste says: “I tell him I’m good, I’m OK, but in reality I’m just to the breaking point.”