Under President Donald Trump, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has become an agency even more openly hostile to undocumented immigrants, according to an anonymous ICE agent speaking with The New Yorker.
The unnamed agent, who claims to have worked with ICE since the Clinton administration, describes a troubling culture shift encouraging agents to apprehend as many individuals as possible. “We seem to be targeting the most vulnerable people, not the worst,” he said, claiming that the department has been overrun with an anything-goes mentality: “We’re going to get sued... You have guys who are doing whatever they want in the field, going after whoever they want.” Such policy would contradict President Trump's campaign promise to only deport "bad hombres."
The agent pointed to ICE's recently announced policies of targeting eighteen year old undocumented high schoolers who entered the country as children, as well as parents who pay to have children smuggled into the country. "We’re not doing what we tell people we do," he said.
The lack of restraint is apparently encouraged by ICE leadership. According to a screenshot of a meeting transcript, a senior member said that is "'the most exciting time to be part of ICE' in the agency's history."