ICE Is Ramping Up Deportations–And Tracking License Plates (Video)

In 2015, when still a candidate for president, Donald Trump promised that, when elected, he would assemble a deportation force.

Few were taking him seriously at the time, so when he proposed deporting 11 million undocumented immigrants, it was regarded as more risible hyperbole from the clown prince of presidential hopefuls.

Here we are, exactly one year since that clown prince took the oath of office, and we can trace the trail of broken promises all the way down to the last Trump voter to eventually lose his healthcare.

The deportation force promise, though, is unfortunately running full steam.

Trump doesn’t need to assemble a force–he already has ICE.

According to a contract finalized earlier this month, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has officially gained access to a nationwide license plate recognition database with the capability to read and track billions of vehicles.

If you’re thinking George Orwell and 1984, you’re not far off.

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) senior policy analyst Jay Stanley is concerned this transcends immigration.

He told The Verge:

“There are people circulating in our society who are undocumented. Are we as a society, out of our desire to find those people, willing to let our government create an infrastructure that will track all of us?”

Those concerns are not extreme.

According to the Washington PostSeattle Times, and The Nation, ICE has in recent weeks targeted several immigration activists.

Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), the House Judiciary Committee’s ranking Democrat said:

“These are well-known activists who’ve been here for decades, and they’re saying to them: Don’t raise your head.”

The past year, ICE with Trump administration support has reversed the Obama administration’s stance on undocumented law-abiding individuals.

Most work, send their children to school, and do their best to fulfill what used to be perceived as the “American Dream.”

But consider what happened Thursday in Highland Park, NJ.

ICE arrested Gunawan Liem after he dropped his daughter off at the school bus stop.

Roby Sanger was picked up after dropping his daughters off at school.

A third man, Harry Pangemanan–recently awarded for helping rebuild more than 200 houses after Superstorm Sandy– fled into the Reformed Church of Highland Park where Yohames Tasik has been holed up since ICE came for him nearly two weeks ago.

Arthur Jemmy has been there as well, for over 100 days.

Rev. Seth Kaper-Dale said:

“We had one night when 35 dads were taken in one night from Avenel, New Jersey, from the same apartment complex. I had 60 kids become orphans that night or become fatherless.”

Under Trump, ICE has been rounding up Haitians, Nicaraguans, and Salvadorans.

Trump rejected a study confirming the positive impact refugees have on the U.S. economy.

And we all know how he’s fumbling DACA.

Let’s not forget the journalists who got swept up in the “J20” mass arrest during Trump’s inauguration for simply chronicling protests.

Now with ICE having a green light to utilize license plate-tracking technology, who’s next?

Image credit:

Ted Millar is writer and teacher. His work has been in featured in myriad literary journals, including Better Than Starbucks, The Broke Bohemian, Straight Forward Poetry, Caesura, Circle Show, Cactus Heart, Third Wednesday, and The Voices Project. He is also a contributor to Op-Ed News, Liberal Nation Rising, and Zoedune.