The Storm or the Jail: ICE Teams Up with Hurricane Harvey

The answer is blowing in the wind

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The Storm or the Jail: ICE Teams Up with Hurricane Harvey

The government prioritizes immigration status over human life. The Border Patrol and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, contrary to good sense or humanity, are keeping open the checkpoints during Hurricane Harvey, the mammoth storm that’s about to land on Texas. Dozens of colonias, housing the poorest people in Texas, are at risk.

As the Texas Secretary of State’s office notes:

The term “colonia,” in Spanish means a community or neighborhood. The Office of the Secretary of State defines a “colonia” as a residential area along the Texas-Mexico border that may lack some of the most basic living necessities, such as potable water and sewer systems, electricity, paved roads, and safe and sanitary housing.

There are an estimated 2000 of them, and most of them are found in the Lone Star. Lack of water and sewage systems are their hallmark. They do not receive the protection of the state. That is the nature of being poor on the border in America. And soon they must flee. The storm is coming.

As Splinter News notes:

As residents of coastal Texas begin packing up and fleeing the potential once-in-a-decade levels of destruction posed by Hurricane Harvey, there is a good chance their exodus from the storm’s path will be impeded by federal Customs and Border Protection agents manning immigration checkpoints along the state’s roads, despite the impending natural disaster.

Per the Texas Tribune:

“Border Patrol checkpoints will not be closed unless there is a danger to the safety of the traveling public and our agents. Border Patrol resources, including personnel and transportation, will be deployed on an as needed basis to augment the efforts and capabilities of local-response authorities,” the agency said in a statement.

As ACLU of Texas official Astrid Dominguez said, “Safety should be a priority regardless of immigration status.” ICE, recently famous for their policy of using immigrant children to target their parents, has decided to favor enacting Trump’s policies over the lives of ordinary people.

As recently as last year, before the Orangeman gave them his blessing, ICE was more flexible on the matter:

That happened as recently as 2016, when Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection temporarily suspended enforcement measures during evacuations prompted by Hurricane Matthew. “There will be no immigration enforcement initiatives associated with evacuations or sheltering related to Matthew, including the use of checkpoints for immigration enforcement purposes in impacted areas during an evacuation,” a 2016 statement read. ICE put out a similar message ahead of Hurricane Isaac in 2012.

Let us be very clear about this. As the human-devouring storm rages across the south of Texas, there will be agents who demand you present your papers before you can escape flooding. What does this amount to? Under the rule of ICE and its friends, you will need citizenship to live.

Here’s your choice, as an immigrant: place your family in the maw of destruction, or go north, so border agents can indulge their rainy-day cowboy fantasies. In this country, it’s not enough for us to watch Mother Nature destroy what we’ve done. Americans are competitive by nature. We can do so much more needless damage to ourselves. After all, any fool sea can make hurricanes, but crafting deliberate injustice is a human project, and will last long after Harvey leaves us.

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