Comments by Sanwar Ali:
It is surely not surprising that this would happen. There is a great deal of animosity amongst sections of the public towards ICE. Probably it was a big mistake for the US to call it ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement). It sounds like an organisation that you would see in a Police state. It conjures up images of people dressed in paramilitary uniform turning up in the middle of the night to take you away to be tortured.
The Acting Director of ICE Matthew T. Albence has actually resigned very recently. In the Trump administration many of the top positions are held by people who are yet to be officially confirmed. Chad Wolf is actually the "acting" secretary of the Department of Homeland Security for example. Biden may very well be elected President in November. We understand that Albence is leaving before then.
A so-called ‘Citizens Academy’ set up by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has been inundated with fake applications from activists. ICE launched the academy in early July to teach civilians about how it carries out ‘targeted arrests.’ The academy is currently being piloted in Chicago ahead of expansion across the rest of the USA.
In a statement issued at the start of last month, ICE said: “The goal of the program is for participants to become familiar with how and why ICE carries out its mission.”
“Modelled after other law enforcement academies, including ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), FBI, US Customs and Border Protection, and local police departments, [we plan] to directly engage and educate the public through the academy,” the statement said.
Six-week ICE course on detention tactics for the public
People who enrol will participate in a six-week course and training is carried out for four hours, once a week.
Civil liberties campaigners and US immigration rights organizations raised concerns about the academy. Each asked the question ‘why do federal authorities want to familiarize civilians with detention tactics?’
As details of the academy first started to emerge, ICE issued a statement clarifying that it was not intending to teach citizens how to make an arrest themselves, but rather the training would show how ICE agents carry out arrests.
Fake applications sent to ICE
The academy has been bombarded with a number of bogus applications, according to a report published by The Independent. Inspired by Never Again Action – a Jewish political group that opposes ICE – thousands of activists have inundated the agency’s job portal with fake applications.
On Twitter, Never Again Action tweeted: “ICE is asking the public to apply to be part of their armed vigilante ‘Citizens Academy’. Well, let’s give them what they asked for: thousands of applications! Except our applications are going to be... a little different. Time to #FloodICE.”
According to Twitter posts, many Never Again Action followers responded to the call to apply.
“I truly hope whoever opens this at ICE reconsiders their role in the atrocities being committed by the United States and resigns,” one person wrote, after saying they had submitted their application.
“I poured my blood sweat and tears into this application. Hope I get in!!” another wrote.
“Just sent in my ‘application’ with a list of ICE’s human rights violations and a collage of protest pictures...for putting this information out there for people!” a third said.
ICE ordered to leave Portland
News of ICE being hit with thousands of applications for its controversial academy comes as the Trump administration ordered agents from the agency to withdraw from Portland amid ongoing outrage in the city.
It’s understood that ICE agents, along with Customs and Border Protection agents, had been covertly detaining people during Black Lives Matter demonstrations in the city.
ICE and CBP were accused of using too much force in Portland and an agreement was recently reached between the Department of Homeland Security and Oregon Governor, Kate Brown, for ICE and CBP agents to withdraw from the city.
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