There’s already too many podcasts in this cold, cruel world, but here’s one I bet you didn’t know about: The Green Line, which is by and and for border patrol agents. The podcast, which is put out by the Border Patrol union, has about 200 episodes, and is recorded in studios owned by Breitbart, your friendly neighborhood news organization for bigots. That tracks!
This tidbit comes from Tina Vasquez’s reporting at Rewire.News, whose latest piece reveals how the Trump administration has thrown fuel on an already burning fire at Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Vasquez explains how U.S. immigration policy has shifted under Trump, and the scope of immigrants being targeted for aggressive enforcement and deportation has expanded dramatically:
Trump’s executive orders—starting on the fifth day of his presidency with 13767, which called for the construction of a wall on the Mexican border and the swift repatriation of those living in the United States without authorization—have done away with this system, making enforcement priorities a thing of the past. Now every undocumented immigrant is deportable.
This mission is, in significant ways, apiece with the founding mission of ICE. Still, the pace and scale of raids has been staggering under the new administration, as Rewire.News notes:
Despite the many failings of Trump’s White House, the administration has delivered on one of the president’s primary goals: mass deportations. Trump is giving ICE the tools, financial resources, and presidential backing to go after immigrant communities as never before.
The agency still claims to focus primarily on those with criminal records, which, often, can mean nothing more than an old DUI conviction—and raids have been based on that. Yet the fastest-growing category of arrests under Trump are of people with no criminal charges. Last year, the agency arrested more than 28,000 “non-criminal immigration violators.”
And as ICE revs up the machinery of deportation, a handful of state governments are teaming up to help feed it.
On Tuesday, seven states—including Texas, Arkansas, and West Virginia—sued the Trump administration for not delivering on the president’s promise to get rid of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which the states argue is unlawful because it came by an executive order under Obama. “Left intact, DACA sets a dangerous precedent,” Texas attorney general Ken Paxton added, “by giving the executive branch sweeping authority to ignore the laws enacted by Congress and change our nation’s immigration laws to suit a president’s own policy preferences.
The problem, according to the lawsuit, isn’t all executive orders. Just the ones that enact minimally humane immigration policy. Paxton, for example, has no issue with the president’s decision to rescind DACA in September 2017, or his executive order to erect a wall along the border (brackets mine):
“This lawsuit does not call on this Court to resolve any of the challenges [...] about the validity of [Trump’s] executive action in 2017. Rather, this lawsuit challenges whether [Obama’s] 2012 executive action unilaterally creating DACA was itself lawful.”
“This lawsuit is emphatically about the rule of law,” the lawsuit states. But something tells me..... it’s about something else! “We [in Texas] would love to see a wall built,” Paxton said on Fox News on Monday.
As the Los Angeles Times mentions, Texas and other states have been using the threat of a lawsuit to prod Trump into action since last year, and I guess they got tired of waiting. Incredible to see how much they care about checking executive overreach. Brings a tear to my eye.