This NYT article touches upon the deep divide in the immigration debate happening on the ground. The union for ICE agents has prevented 7,000 of their members from partaking in a new federal Immigration training course. This course, only half a day, trains immigration officers on prosecutorial discretion and the use of more fair tactics when working with undocumented migrants. At the end of last year, ICE and Obama released a memo explaining that they would now enforce prosecutorial discretion measures (only arresting undocumented migrants with criminal records, outside of unlawful crossings, and halting deportations of those with clean records). Some argue that this was Obama’s olive branch to the Latino and pro-immigrant communities who have suffered through the “Secure Communities” program that has deported nearly 400,000 undocumented migrants, including: military officers, parents of US citizens, the elderly and students. Also, there have been widespread reports of human rights abuses by federal ICE agents.
I wonder, why would agents refuse a half a day worth of trainings on how to better implement a program that has obviously allowed for human rights abuses!? In my opinion, these trainings should be at least a week long rather than half a day, but it is a start. Programs like secure communities and the federal 287 g allow for ICE agent’s biases against immigrants to affect the way they work. With both programs, the lines that should not be crossed are not made plainly clear to the agents, and I think that enforcing trainings that go over proper implementation is necessary in order to ensure fair and just enforcement. Remember…”No human is illegal”