History as Cold as ICE
Actual title A Short, Brutal History of ICE
But point here is not the old news of the scope of the remit ICE runs under. It is in fact to point out the expansion of awful Trump represents.
…What before had been Immigration and Naturalization Services, under the Justice Department, and the United States Customs Service, part of the Treasury Department, were folded into this new, national security-focused agency and divided into three components: Immigration and Customs Enforcement, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, and United States Custom and Border Protection.
“At the time, those of us who study immigration pointed out how dramatic a change this was, to place immigration, which had been under the Department of Justice, into this new agency called Homeland Security,” says Erika Lee, a history professor at the University of Minnesota and director of the school’s Immigration History Research Centers. “It sends the message that immigration was a threat—that all immigration was a threat.”
By 2003, as noted by Marisa Franco and Carlos Garcia in a 2016 piece for The Nation on the machinery of deportation built out over the last decade, Tom Ridge, the first director of DHS, had overseen the rollout of a strategic plan for these newly established enforcement agencies. One goal among others? A 100 percent removal rate of “removable aliens” and the infrastructure to make it happen.
By 2013, the United States was spending more money on immigration enforcement than all other federal criminal law enforcement agencies combined; partnerships—both formal and ad hoc—with local police have given ICE an unprecedented presence in communities across the country; it also has, and makes steady use of, its sweeping powers to surveil.