Letter: Melt the ICE!

Graphic by Lori Deaton

Have you ever wondered how the citizens of Nazi Germany allowed the concentration camps to happen? Did you ask yourself, “How could they have just continued with their daily lives while knowing this was going on?” The separation of immigrant children from their parents is, in my eyes, no less a horror and violation. A recent article stated that this treatment meets the definition of genocide. The places where they are held are concentration camps. Children are drugged to make them stop crying, sometimes lacking access to showers or decent food, and not even allowed to hug a sibling.

The parents also suffer greatly, with no way of knowing where their children are. Such trauma can take years of therapy to heal, if healing is even possible. In some cases, no records were kept to reunify the families or parents were deported while the children remain incarcerated here. They are innocent of any crime; they believed that their desperate lives could be improved by crossing the border. Often the intolerable conditions they fled were caused by U.S. policies that cripple their economies.

We’re told that without these tough measures, we’ll be swamped with people taking our jobs, along with images of Latinos as criminals. Nothing is further from the truth. Most work extremely hard jobs at terribly low wages, sacrifice for their families and abide by the law.

Kudos to the “Grannies Respond” movement, launched from New York and caravanning through Kentucky, Alabama and Louisiana to protest at a children’s detention center on the Texas border!

In Western North Carolina, an April ICE raid placed 27 people in a detention center in Georgia, five hours away from their families. We must not let the ICE in the hearts of the ruling elite spread into our own hearts. I’m praying that the ICE in those hearts will melt and that all those in power will rediscover a compassionate, warm heart and the blessing which sharing with our neighbors brings.

— Cathy Holt
Asheville

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14 thoughts on “Letter: Melt the ICE!

  1. Enlightened Enigma

    Just think…if they had not entered the country ILLEGALLY this problem would not exist. Criminals upon entry.

    • Mary Morgan

      True, but this has been going on for decades. The powers that be turned a blind eye to it, provided cheap labor. I live in South Texas and I’ve known many of these people, and most just want a better life for their children. I’m all for immigration reform but it has to make sense, for it to be successful.

  2. Jason

    I like how you used ICE and ice in the last paragraph as interchangeable. It really drove home your message. We should also encourage people to enter the country through legal means. Bad decisions have bad consequences.

  3. B E Vickroy

    I just learned from this letter, that because I want secure borders, I am a part of the “RULING ELITE”.
    But I won’t take this too literally, as this person doesn’t know the difference between Nazi treatment of their OWN citizens [based solely on religion] vs our efforts to handle what may be characterized as an invasion of tens of thousands… men, women, children … among whom, experience has show, are some very bad people. Are we handling this situation perfectly? No. Are we deliberately singling these folks out to mistreat [the writer opines “torture”] for no reason, just out of our evil “ELITIST HEARTS.” NO. BTW I hope the next letter this writer sends will list the ways that we might deal humanely with TENS OF THOUSANDS of illegal entrants a month. Our nation’s leaders need such wise persons to advise them.

    • Lulz

      As were the Jews of 1930’s Germany. They were the supposedly the bankers, land owners, the rich. And yet it evolved into the poor Slavic Jews from backwater Russia that were carted off to the death camps in cattle cars.

    • B E Vickroy

      Going back to the letter, which lauds a group called “Grannies Respond”. The ‘caravan’ that went from NYC to TX had a rally of dozens. A snip from a talk given by one speaker demonstrates an agenda far from the humanitarian GRANNIE cover for this PR campaign to sway public opinion, and generate OUTRAGED letters to editors.

      “Between Trump and all the right-wing, racist bigots that he has as part of his Cabinet and support base… [Trump] is trying to stop the browning of the U.S. to try and make it a White nationalist country”……..” This used to be Mexico and you moved the border on us. Immigrants come to the USA wanting to work and to make it great.” These are some of the oft-repeated talking points of MECHA, LA RAZA, AZTLAN.

      Of course lip-service was given as cover for the GRANNIES – “ripping babies from their mother’s arms” “concentration camps” And while the appearance of a spontaneous group of GRANNIES is heart-warming. The truth is that they are a spin-off from groups protesting against our military.

      It is usually the case that the OUTRAGE expressed by many is no deeper than the latest sensational, click-bait ‘newzoid’. Most have no first hand experience or understanding of the dynamics dealt with by our ICE and BP agents. Many derive gratification in expressing outrage over something of which they have no understanding. BTW, I am a Grannie and a Great Grannie. I have tutored survival English to immigrants, sharing hugs , tears, & meals. I have helped fund remedial tutoring for immigrant children struggling with school works. I do not have and ice-cold heart. On the contrary my heart is warm for the plight of immigrants on both sides of our international border.

      • Peter Robbins

        Here are a couple “newsoids” from people with first-hand knowledge about some of the problems with ICE:

        https://www.nbcnews.com/news/latino/amid-calls-abolish-ice-investigators-knock-agency-s-detention-center-n887901.

        https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/28/us/politics/ice-immigration-eliminate-agency.html.

        There are more, but I wouldn’t want to test anyone’s patience – especially when we have so many immigration-enforcement experts right on this here thread to school us proper.

        • B E Vickroy

          Peter — I will get back to you … but we had a huge thunder/lightning storm … power out for 5 hours, but computer just now up and running. [or my dog ate the computer, you choose ] Also, I’m confused … got an email message from comments manager …that several of my comments have been deleted, and I thought this was one of those. Sigh… back later … barb

          • B E Vickroy

            Peter — where to begin? [1] My ‘take’ on the two articles you cite from people who have “first hand knowledge of ICE”–: Each decade seems to have a new dog to kick, or new reason or yet another new “solution” for the ongoing problem of illegal in-migration. Today it is an evil president, & “his” corrupt, inept, ICE. And abolishing it will be the magic pill to make the problem go away. Who knew it would be so easy? In other words, sorry to say – “same song different verse.”
            [2] The old INS was split into the USCIS, ICE, CBP under the aegis of the newly formed Dept. of HOMELAND Security. Because the new reality after 9/11/01 was that the old INS couldn’t handle the new challenges. But it appears that illegal in-migration got worse, not better.
            [3] For a little background, please search on “light up the border”. Only a flimsy wire fence marked the border in the San Diego area. Life for residents in communities on the border, was hell. Night after night, hundreds of illegals would cut through private yards, break into empty [sometimes occupied] homes, steal anything not tied down, not to mention swamping ERs and schools, etc. Finally, locals [of every race and ethnicity], tired of getting placated, lied to & lied about, took matters into their own hands. The widow of a BP agent spearheaded a plan where dozens & then hundreds of folks would park their cars near the border and turn on their headlights. The PR from this effort finally resulted in a tall metal wall. Problem solved. But, when in-migrants moved east to cross, some of them died in the rough terrain. And guess who was to blame for those deaths? The same people who are “ripping infants from their terrified mother’s arms” today. Xenophobes, selfish, cold-hearted, inhumane “elites”.
            [4] The invectives that are tossed between opposing ‘sides’ [magnified by media sensationalism] just add to the problem. And the decades of abuse make it appear too large to handle. Some even call it a force of nature, where thousands of people migrate from one region to another – like the rain or wind, not to be controlled by mere man.
            Well, as usual, I go on far too long, and have little confidence that any minds will be changed. Never fear, you haven’t ‘tested my patience’ [that happened long ago], and though I do not fancy myself to be an “immigration enforcement expert”, I have been in this battle for a long time [50+yrs]. Yes, it is a battle. Lives are lost. Lives are altered. Respect for Rule of Law is weakened. Oh well, asi es la vida.

            Ref. [BBC 2006 US Mexico border] http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4743190.stm
            [LAT 1990 Light Up The Border] http://articles.latimes.com/1990-08-24/local/me-1050_1_border-fence

          • Peter Robbins

            Minds will not be changed if people ignore facts, such as those in the materials to which I linked — an investigative report by the Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security finding serious abuses in ICE detention facilities and a detailed letter to the Secretary of the Department signed by ICE agents who complain that their counter-terrorism efforts are being significantly undermined by current immigration-enforcement policies. I assure you these public servants are not paid to kick dogs — or even Presidents — and they deserve respectful attention. But I agree with you on one point — you have indeed gone on too long.

  4. jason

    I find it amusing that if you disagree with anything in this country your labeled as a Nazi no matter how inconsequential or small the issue is. Both sides do it.

  5. Stan Hawkins

    Your use of the word and acronym ICE in your post is very thought-provoking. I certainly agree that all persons should be treated humanely on either side of the border. And hopefully, we would agree that US foreign policy and national security concerns should balance the goals of fairness to others and security of our citizens. We probably would then agree that this expectation of humane treatment would apply to our citizens who find themselves in hardship or trouble with US law for any number of reasons. And, that children or minors are treated similarly when found accompanying those that are not obeying the US laws.

    Where I have some difficulty with your article is that: 1. You provide no resources or references for your claims. 2. You appear to offer no degree of respect for the authority and responsibility of the US government to protect its citizens. 3. You appear to advocate open borders without providing your readers with some evidence or examples of how this would be a successful way to run a country.

    Where we would have an additional agreement is that our hearts must be open to the plight of all the world’s citizens. In the Book of Romans, found in the Bible, Paul’s teachings guide us to three pillars (entities) that we are responsible or accountable to. These three pillars are 1. God 2. Government 3. Our brothers and sisters in the body of Christ. Romans teaches that the government is given its authority by God and thus we must pray for and respect the authority of that government living our lives within that structure. If laws need to be changed, then there is a process to follow in changing the laws.

    It has been reported in the news in New Mexico, an arrest of 4-5 adults of questionable integrity holding 10 or so children in a compound of horrible conditions, and allegedly suspected of teaching these minor children how to shoot up schools. Most likely you have seen the pictures of these alleged perpetrators and this compound in the dust of New Mexico. It has also been reported that ICE has taken into custody at least one of the adults after a judge had released them all with a subsequent public outcry. See CNN link: https://www.cnn.com/2018/08/08/us/new-mexico-compound-complaint-school-shooting/index.html

    Perhaps you should consider that the motives of the US Border Police, Immigration Control & Enforcement, and the Administration are worthy of your respect while they work to prevent exactly this type of circumstance from happening. Thanks again for your provoking article.

  6. Mike

    Q: What laws has ICE written?
    A: None.
    Q: What non-existant laws has ICE enforced?
    A: None
    Q: Were families separated during the Obama admin?
    A: Yes
    Q: Are immingration laws being more thoroughly enforced than previously?
    A: Yes
    Q: Is a single mother convicted of felony DUI involving death separated from her children?
    A. Yes … for several years not several days.
    Q: So do you favor elliminating the Highway Patrol too??
    ……

  7. Mike

    How do we treat persons who happen to cross our border without permission humanely?
    Simple.
    Remember that they are human beings and, in the oh-so-distant past of a few years ago, we used to champion human rights around the world, holding the United States up as beacon of how persons should be treated.
    Give the migrants the same rights in a criminal proceeding- due process, humane treatment, jury of their peers, legal representation, everything else guaranteed in the constitution- that we have as citizens.
    Isn’t that how we wish the rest of the world behaved?
    Shouldn’t we be leading by example?

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