East Germany, anyone? The Stasi used to go door to door and ask for papers, to sow confusion and fear. In fact, you could pick the internal security police of any dictatorship, and find they use the same methods. The news reports note that Trump’s raids occur during the daytime. Obama’s occurred during the night. The effect on families is the same either way.
Even families who have been here for a long time start to think about clearing out.
In the case of immigration enforcement, you don’t need to deport that many people to achieve your aim. You pursue these enforcement policies long enough, and people start to get the idea. Soon you have warnings from various officials, including immigration attorneys, that it’s time to go back. These warnings reinforce the implicit message of the raids, and the repeated requests for papers. Even families who have been here for a long time start to think about clearing out.
[An immigration attorney] heard reports of ICE agents going door-to-door in one largely Hispanic neighborhood, asking people to present their papers. “People are panicking… People are really, really scared.” ~ Washington Post
Make no mistake about the totalitarian, sinister effects of immigration enforcement directed toward detention and deportation. These actions split up families. You hear justifications and references to “integrity of the immigration system,” and “criminals who threaten the community.” Then you learn the so-called criminal has a citation for a broken tail light, or possession of marijuana, or no citation at all. Any excuse will do to justify deportation. People deported usually have family here. The only practical way to reunite the family is for the whole family to leave. That’s the goal.
The whole country has to go underground with a government like this one on the loose.
Immigration officials claim all the highest motives, but in fact they represent another instance of storm trooper government. They are mindless, armed and uniformed heavyweights who follow the empire’s orders. If we can find a way to help renegade enforcers resist, we should do that. If we can find a way to help immigrant families under threat, we should do that, too. The whole country has to go underground with a government like this one on the loose.