The Trump Administration, its officials within DHS, and its enforcers at ICE and CBP apparently know no bounds when it comes to immigrants and deportation. This week, we’ve seen one story about immigrants and deportation that exceeds the bounds of decency, and another where immigration officials flat-out acted illegally.
10-year-old girl may be deported after going to hospital for operation
In a developing story out of Corpus Christi, Texas, an undocumented 10-year-old girl with cerebral palsy may be facing deportation after she was rushed to the hospital for gallbladder surgery.
The girl, Rosa Maria Hernandez, has lived in the US since she was three months old and had to pass through a Border Patrol checkpoint to reach the hospital. At the checkpoint, Border Patrol sent agents to escort the ambulance the rest of the way to Corpus Christi — and then allegedly waited outside Rosa’s hospital room while she recuperated.
The Border Patrol then told Rosa’s mother — a mom who was waiting for her 10-year-old daughter to recover from surgery — that Rosa could either leave the US voluntarily, or she would be detained and deported.
CBP spokesperson Rod Kise confirmed to reporters that Border Patrol wants to deport Rosa as soon as she’s healthy. “Per the immigration laws of the United States, once medically cleared she will be processed accordingly,” Kise said. “The Mexican Consulate has been advised of the situation by Laredo Sector Border Patrol.”
ICE and CBP officials aren’t supposed to target “sensitive” locations like churches, schools, and hospitals — but arrests of immigrants have happened at all three. Last month, Border Patrol arrested an undocumented mother and father after they took their 2-month-old baby to the hospital for an operation on his stomach. In that case as well as this one, CBP is telling immigrants that they may have to choose between seeking life-saving care — or being deported. (Rosa’s mother says that her daughter would not be able to receive the same level of medical care in Mexico.) Every day, it seems, we are seeing a new example of how heartless Trump’s Deportation Machine is, even when children’s lives are at stake.
ICE arrested man in Oregon home even though they didn’t have a warrant
Meanwhile, in Oregon, ICE officials arrested a father of four who was helping to remodel a house, even though they didn’t have a warrant.
Carlos Bolanos and his co-worker, George Cardenas (a US citizen), were working inside the house when ICE agents entered and asked for Carlos’ ID, because they had “reason to believe you’re not in the country legally.”
In a video George recorded, George asked the agents for a warrant, and they incorrectly said, “we don’t need a warrant to come in this home.”
The agents refused to give their names, and George told them, “I don’t think you guys should even be in here. You’re basically trespassing at this moment, right now.”
After a few minutes, the agents surrounded Carlos, arrested him, and took him away. Watch the video below:
Both of Oregon’s Senators, Democrats Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, called that incident “deeply troubling”, while Rep. Diego Hernandez (D-OR), tweeted that “they had to warrant, ICE is out of line.”
The ACLU, meanwhile, said that the video shows significant wrongdoing by ICE, and reflects a disturbing trend of ICE officers targeting people for deportation while dressed in plainclothes and not identifying themselves.
Carlos was released after the video was posted on Facebook. ICE said it is reviewing its officers’ actions and has referred the incident to its Office of Professional Responsibility and to the inspector general of DHS.
The episode is just the most recent in a long list of occurrences where ICE and CBP have seriously overstepped their bounds, acting without restraint and at times flouting the law. It could be argued that their behavior is modeled after leaders at the top. This week, we learned that acting ICE Director Thomas Homan blamed northern California’s wildfires on immigrants even though that is factually untrue, while last week, we wrote about how former DHS chief John Kelly ordered agents to find damaging stories about immigrants that would help build support for ICE raids.