What do you think is the largest law enforcement agency in the United States? The FBI? The BATFE?
No, the largest law enforcement organization in the United States is Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). And while there has been a discussion about what rights US citizens have left since 9-11, the ICE has never been burdened with such a discussion, nor with even much public knowledge of what they are doing. Ironically, the one right they are zealous to defend is the right to privacy on the part of illegal immigrants. Conveniently for ICE, this privacy translates into secrecy that the CIA must envy.
ICE’s decisions do not just affect these non-citizens. The Boston Glove is releasing an ongoing expose, “Justice in the Shadows,” and the first article (now available online) revealed that the body count of US citizens killed by their unaccountable decisions is impressive. It is quite likely I will disagree with some of the perspectives in this series. But I think I can agree at this point that getting to secretly release homicidal criminals into the general public without notifying the victims or local law enforcement is a power I would like to see stripped from ICE.
Huang Chen was an illegal immigrant. As a Chinese criminal it makes sense that he would gravitate toward victims that he could threaten. He got busted in 2006 because he brutally assaulted Qian Wu, a citizen who ran an employment agency. She was promised he would go to jail and then be sent back to China. She would never see him again.
“Never” lasted until January, 2010, when he broke into her apartment and boasted, “I bet you didn’t expect to see me.” ICE had tried to send him back to China after his (ridiculously short) prison time. But China simply refused to take him back. So ICE secretly let him go free. Qian Wu survived their first reunion by calling the police. But within two weeks he ambushed her in a stairwell.
“Chen then finished what he had started earlier, bashing Wu on the head with a hammer and slashing her with a knife. As she lay crumpled in a grimy stairwell, he ripped out her heart and a lung and fled with his macabre trophies.”
The Boston Globe reports on other murders that are committed by people who are not legally in this country. Whenever a country like China or Jamaica or some other country refuses to accept a criminal citizen (or sometimes claims—I don’t know how accurately—that it can’t confirm the person was really ever from their country) the ICE’s duty is to simply release the person into the population. No one knows about any of this because ICE “protects privacy.”
The results are often inhumane for some (non-homicidal!) immigrants. The series covers a woman who realized her Visa was over extended and tried to go to Canada with her husband so they could find a way to return to the US and be legal. But ICE caught her trying to leave and jailed her in the US instead. It was all completely secret. Her husband could not get the authorities to tell her where she was being held. She died in jail because she was denied access to her heart medication.
It is one thing to say illegal residents must leave. It is another to say that we must use a secret agency that effectively “disappears” such people.
These are straightforward police-state tactics. The fact that our largest law enforcement agency has been operating well over a decade without accountability or public knowledge makes me wonder what the future will hold. Does anyone really think that people accustomed to working this way, if they were to be transferred to a bureau that dealt with citizens, would change their habits?