ICE Unbound

I came of age under the shadow of a Cold War mushroom cloud whose flash you could see from my Sunset Boulevard office all the way over to the Nevada Testing Ground.  Los Angeles was ringed by nuclear tipped Nike missiles programmed for a Soviet first strike. Popular mass magazines like Saturday Evening Post, Colliers and Time were devoted to scary Third World War scenarios, and we all believed them.

This was school children’s ‘duck and cover’ time when classrooms were shown horrific films of blast damage. We grownups didn’t walk around in panic all the time merely assumed as Doris Day sang ‘Que Sera Sera’, what will be will be.

So, for a certain generation, we’re not that keen for another confrontation with Russia that might result in mutual incineration.

The uproar about Putin’s hacking, Jeff Sessions meeting with a spy and who else at what time had cocktails with a Russian is a smokescreen whipped up by both the press (I hate the word media) and Democratic pols to distract us from seeing that the opposition party has no plan. The Trumps send up clouds of obscurity made even murkier by liberalish, high profile reporters who trade “access” for pretending what they hear isn’t bullshit.

Pres. Bannon and his deputy Trump are playing us masterfully.

Most recent example is Trump pretending, to a select crew of suckered big-name journos, that he may or may not amend, reverse or “humanize” his deportations. Oh, does he know how to play us!

In reality Bannon-Trump can’t afford to retreat from their mass roundup of immigrants because it’s the heart, the very keystone, of their agenda. Block or slow down the deportations is to lose “credibility” with the haters who are their base already raising  hell to deport more, more and more.

Unless stopped the racial attack on any of the eleven million “unauthorized” (illegal, undocumented) aliens among us will accelerate. At this moment, all over the country, and here in Los Angeles, the ICEmen are pulling men, women and even children off their jobs, out of schools, from hospitals and courtrooms.

The Obama policy of “catch and release” – keeping mothers and children together –canceled.

DACA – deferred action for child arrivals – shredding.

Our immigration police are drunk on their expanded power to arrest, detain, imprison and in a case here at the San Ysidro check point the murder of an illegal father of five.

Our California school principals now are warning their pupils to carry ID with them at all times and if at risk to have a family plan and power of attorney. Dad drops you off at school and you may never see him again.

The word is out, the ICEman is “unshackled”.

Promotion and bonuses depend on invading “target rich” communities. God help you if you have a DUI or shoplifting offense.  In El Paso a woman is arrested for reporting her rape, in Jackson, Mississippi for making a pro immigrant speech.

Yet, with few exceptions, I scan the press or watch TV news including CNN and MSNBC, and almost nada.  Bill Maher, John Oliver, Colbert – nada. For most anchors, hosts and reporters, the mass roundups aren’t happening. The eleven million vanish as if by magic.

We are normalizing the berserk actions of an immigrant political police in order to join the swine hunt for Moscow spies.

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Clancy Sigal is a screenwriter and novelist. His latest book is Black Sunset

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March 23, 2018
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