There’s fucked-up shit, and then there’s this. According to numerous reports, people are buying cheap gear online and impersonating federal immigration agents—ICE agents, specifically—in order to terrorize immigrants, in one instance ordering a man to hand over cash or be “deported,” and another time walking into a Spanish-speaking church to photograph congregants. Another deplorable is a convicted felon who is also facing child porn charges. Yes, this is what Donald Trump has emboldened:
The trend goes coast-to-coast: In California, New York, and Virginia, individuals wearing fake ICE paraphernalia have already put communities on edge. In at least one case, they also demanded that an undocumented immigrant hand over $250 to avoid getting deported:
In February, a group of four men wearing ICE jackets approached an immigrant man in Woodside, Queens and told him he’d be deported unless he gave them money, a city councilman said. The man, who
did not name in order to protect his family, handed over $250 before fleeing.
In San Francisco, a city employee used his government-issued vehicle to drive to a local church and harass the Spanish-speaking congregants inside. “His jacket had ‘ICE’ written on it with an official looking emblem or seal on the back,” said Police Lt. Raffaello Pata.
Impersonating officers is illegal, but because this man never said outright that he was an agent, “police concluded he hadn’t actually violated the law. Officers told the East Bay Times that they would forward the case to the Marin County District Attorney’s Office for additional review.” And, there’s no word yet if he’s out of a job for using government resources for his terror spree. How’s that for some bullshit?