Alice Speri reports:
“AS HUNDREDS OF undocumented immigrants were rounded up across the country last February in the first mass raids of the Trump administration, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials went out of their way to portray the people they detained as hardened criminals, instructing field offices to highlight the worst cases for the media and attempting to distract attention from the dozens of individuals who were apprehended despite having no criminal background at all.
On February 10, as the raids kicked off, an ICE executive in Washington sent an “URGENT” directive to the agency’s chiefs of staff around the country. “Please put together a white paper covering the three most egregious cases,” for each location, the acting chief of staff of ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations wrote in the email. “If a location has only one egregious case — then include an extra egregious case from another city.”
The email indicated the assignment was due that night, but a day later, an agent at ICE’s San Antonio office sent an internal email saying the team had come up short. “I have been pinged by HQ this morning indicating that we failed at this tasking,” the agent wrote.
As the hours passed, the pressure on local agents to come up with something grew more intense. “As soon as you come in, your sole focus today will be compiling three egregious case write-ups,” an assistant field office director at the agency’s Austin Resident Office wrote to that team on February 12, noting that the national and San Antonio offices were growing impatient. “HQ and SNA will ping us in the afternoon for sure.”
Then the agent added that a team of officers had “just picked up a criminal a few minutes ago, so get with him for your first egregious case.”
. . . .
There is no question that there are lives at stake.
While Austin’s comments on the retaliatory nature of the Travis County raids drew fleeting attention to the politicization of federal enforcement operations, Coronilla-Guerrero, the man whose case was under review that day, was eventually deported, despite his wife telling the judge that his life would be at risk in Mexico, from where he had fled because of gang threats.
Last month, armed men dragged Coronilla-Guerrero out of the relatives’ home where he had been staying in the state of Guanajuato, while he was asleep with one of his children. His body was found on the street the next morning.“
Read the complete article, with copies of internal memos, at the link.
Hardly surprising that the Administration’s “Migrant Menace” narrative is bogus. Also, not surprising that under Trump agents are being required to basically fabricate support for the false narratives. Someday, probably long after I’m gone, all the records of this Administration will become public. I predict that they will show that the fraud, waste, and abuse documented here is just the “tip of the iceberg” of monumental dishonesty of this Administration on the subject of immigration.
I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the recent DOJ/EOIR claims that statistics support the effectiveness of the “Judge Surge” involves this type of manipulation of evidence to document a pre-determined conclusion demanded by Trump Politicos and intended to disguise the truth.