Trump Has Emboldened ICE Agents At All Borders To Terrorize Us All – commentary

Trump Has Emboldened ICE Agents At All Borders To Terrorize Us All

Published on Mar 10 2017, at 3:53 am- News Americas Now

US-ICE-agents-2017By Felicia J. Persaud

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Mar. 10, 2017: It was John Dalberg-Acton who wrote: “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

With executive orders issued last month, and the new ban on Monday, March 6, 2017, Donald Trump has given ICE agents a new reckless power to not just round up and deport but denying entry for visitors with valid visas while even questioning the religion of US citizens.    

And it is not just “bad hombres” that the ICE agents are going after.  Never mind what Trump said during his Feb. 28, 2017 address to the Joint Sessions.

On that Tuesday night he said: “As we speak, we are removing gang members, drug dealers and criminals that threaten our communities and prey on our citizens. Bad ones are going out as I speak tonight and as I have promised.”

On Wednesday, March 1st, US ICE agents, targeted and arrested 22-year-old DREAMer, Argentina-born Daniela Vargas after she spoke of her status and her fear at a press conference in Jackson, Mississippi. The reason for her arrest: she was no ‘bad hombre’ but was a visa overstay,’ meaning she came in on a visitor’s visa at some point and simply stayed on. Now her attorneys are in the race against time to fight her deportation.

And there are other instances of ICE agents simply profiling and targeting innocent immigrants and not just criminals. In Virginia recently, ICE agents waited outside a church shelter where undocumented immigrants had gone to stay warm so they could nab them. In Texas and in Colorado, agents went into courthouses, looking for foreigners who had arrived for hearings on other matters.

At Kennedy International Airport in New York, passengers arriving after a five-hour flight from San Francisco were asked to show their identification documents before they were allowed to get off the plane.

And then there is what is happening to international visitors arriving at many US airports. On Feb. 26th, Celestine Omin, a software engineer visiting the US on a valid visa from Nigeria, had his claim that he was an engineer doubted by a customs agent at JFK. He was taken aside and detained in a room for hours and then tested by being asked to “write a function to check if a Binary Search Tree is balanced” and was also asked about “an abstract class” and why an engineer might “need it.”

Also in Feb., Australian children’s book author Mem Fox was detained by US border agents at Los Angeles airport en route to a conference in Milwaukee. Fox said she was questioned over her visa, despite having travelled to America 116 times before without incident.

Muhammad Ali Jr., the son of legendary boxer Muhammad Ali, an American born citizen, was detained by immigration officials at Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and repeatedly asked about his religion.

And earlier this month, a Jamaican national was denied entry into the US at the William P Hobby Airport in Houston, Texas, even though she had a valid visitor’s visa. Veronica Gaubault was sent back to Jamaica after agents inspected her iPhone, iPad and other belongings.

These and more incidents are undoubtedly happening daily at US airports and in ramped up targeted raids nationally but are unreported as ICE agents have unbridled power to terrorize us all.

America the free?

I think not!

felicia-j-persaud-newsamericasnowThe writer is CMO at Hard Beat Communications, Inc. which owns the brands: NewsAmericasNow, CaribPRWire and InvestCaribbeanNow.

 

 

 

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Comments

  • Clyde Duncan  On March 12, 2017 at 6:50 am

    I still cannot get over how naïve non-whites keep getting on this blog and writing about their “Amendment Rights” in the USA

    Look: These “rights” are intended for white people, in particular “the white man”

    So, get off your high horse and get over yourselves.

    The only way for us to invoke any rights in the USA is through the courts.

  • Clyde Duncan  On March 12, 2017 at 7:32 am

    White Evangelicals Believe They Face More Discrimination Than Muslims

    A new study suggests different groups of Americans see their country in radically divergent ways.

    Emma Green | The Atlantic

    In February, pollsters at the Public Religion Research Institute asked Americans about their impressions of discrimination in the United States.

    Two religious groups were included on the list of those who might face bias:

    Christians and Muslims. Depending on who was answering, the responses were wildly different.

    Overall, people were twice as likely to say Muslims face discrimination as they were to say the same thing about Christians.

    Democrats were four times more likely to see Muslim vs. Christian discrimination, and non-religious people more than three times as likely.

    White Catholics and white mainline Protestants were both in line with the American average:

    Each group was roughly twice as likely to say Muslims face discrimination compared to how they see the Christian experience.

    The people who stuck out, whose perceptions were radically different from others in the survey, were white evangelical Protestants:

    Among this group, 57 percent said there’s a lot of discrimination against Christians in the U.S.A. today. Only 44 percent said the same thing about Muslims. They were the only religious group more likely to believe Christians face discrimination compared to Muslims.

    Historical data suggests white evangelicals perceive even less discrimination against Muslims now than they did a few years ago — or before the election.

    When this question was asked in a December 2013 PRRI survey, 59 percent of white evangelicals said they think Muslims face a lot of discrimination.

    As late as last October, 56 percent said this was the case. As of February, that number had dropped by 12 percentage points.

    It’s possible that this finding is an anomaly — the sample size of white evangelicals in the February poll was smaller than in previous surveys — but it suggests a dramatic shift.

    It’s difficult to quantify something as amorphous as “discrimination.”

    Perceptions like this might be shaped by everything from daily interactions to widely reported instances of assault, vandalism, or other intimidation motivated by bias. In terms of these kinds of hate crimes, Muslims fare far worse than Christians:

    22 percent of religiously motivated crimes are against Muslims, compared to the 13.6 percent against Catholics, Protestants, Mormons, and other Christian denominations combined.

    Considering that Muslims are estimated to make up less than 1 percent of the American population, compared to Christians’ 70 percent, these numbers are even more stark.

    Jews, the group of people who are most likely to be the target of hate crimes, were not included in the PRRI survey as a category.

    Meanwhile, the Donald J Trump administration used rhetoric and introduced policies that have made members of the Muslim community FEARFUL.

    Progressives have labeled the recent executive order on immigration a “Muslim ban” because it targets predominantly Muslim countries.

    In his speeches, the president has emphasized the threat of “radical Islamic terrorism.” And Muslims have relatively little political power compared to other religious groups:

    Only two of the 535 members of Congress are part of the faith.

    Other factors besides hate crimes and Trump’s policies have likely shaped white evangelicals’ perceptions. The questions about discrimination were included in a survey about LGBT issues, and for good reason:

    More than any other issue, changing cultural and legal norms around same-sex marriage and gender identity have raised objections from Christians. A number of court decisions from the last half decade or so may feed into white evangelicals’ perception that Christians face discrimination, including Obergefell v. Hodges, the 2015 Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage.

    That decision kicked off a wave of new challenges around religious conservatives’ right not to participate in gay wedding ceremonies, among other issues. Around the country, these cases are largely not being resolved in favor of the religious plaintiffs:

    The Washington State Supreme Court recently ruled against a Christian florist who did not want to provide services at a gay couple’s wedding, for example.

    These numbers cannot explain how different groups develop their perceptions of bigotry, whether it’s the media they consume, their geographic locations, or simply the communities they know best. But the survey does suggest something remarkable:

    White evangelicals perceive discrimination in America in vastly different terms than all other religious groups, including their minority peers.

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