Regarding the Feb. 12 front-page article “ICE’s wide net boosts arrests”:
During four days last February, Immigration and Customs Enforcement targeted Austin, apparently in retaliation for Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez’s justified refusal to honor some warrantless detainers. Despite claims by ICE that its operation targeted “public safety threats,” most of those arrested had no criminal background and most of those who did committed only relatively minor offenses.
ICE was not straightforward about its operation. Only through Gus Bova’s Texas Observer Freedom of Information Act request did I learn that ICE had apprehended almost three times the number initially disclosed to me. And, of those, many were also law-abiding residents. I still await answers from ICE concerning whether its deceit extended beyond Austin and has continued.
One “dreamer” reported that for weeks following these raids, her parents would leave home only one at a time for fear of leaving their children without any caregiver.
Indiscriminate raids make immigrants fearful of assisting local law enforcement. We are all made less safe, but the Trump administration does not conduct these for safety. Its objective is to instill fear and to intimidate immigrants into leaving. And this is the same treatment that dreamers could receive beginning next month if House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) continues to block a vote to secure their status.
ICE raids on the innocent rip apart families, devastate communities and satisfy only President Trump’s anti-immigrant hysteria.
Lloyd Doggett, Washington
The writer, a Democrat, represents Texas’s
35th District in the House.