• Trish MacEnulty

It's Getting Cold Out Here

So I read this story in The New Yorker about an immigrant basically begging a judge to send him to Riker’s Island because ICE was lurking outside the courtroom waiting to deport the guy. He figured he’d be better off in jail — on Riker’s Island, no less, than being spirited away. Hey, I’m no New Yorker, but I know that Dante would have a field day describing that place. They used to say the rats there were as big as Santa Claus. And the guards trained at the Marquis de Sade charm school. But this guy had a kid and he believed he would be better off in jail because he’d at least be in the same country with his kid.

These fucking ICE people. I mean even the name is indicative of the temperature of their hearts. Why else do you join an organization whose primary responsibility is ripping apart families. It’s like having our very own gestapo.Yeah, yeah. I know all about Godwin’s law, blah, blah, blah. But tell me, if you were the undocumented mother of three who dropped off her kids at school and you looked up and suddenly saw these burly, cold-eyed motherfuckers in their ICE vests coming at ya’, what would you compare them to? Or the poor kid who has been in this country since he was nine years old and foolishly trusted our government to protect him when he registered as a Dreamer, only to be snatched up and unceremoniously dumped in another country. Remember those stories you read about slave traders back in those bad old days? They didn't think much of family bonds either.

Call it what you will. Call it fine upstanding men and women upholding the letter of the law. Because that’s what we’re all about here — the law of the land. Whether it’s the Fugitive Slave Law of the 1800s, the law that put thousands of American citizens of Japanese descent in internment camps, the law that allowed a group of white men to escape justice after they beat a teenage black boy to death, or the law that puts marijuana dealers in prison for life. That law. The one that applies to some people and not to others. Right, DJ?

Thank you for reading. The report I mentioned was written by Jonathan Blitzer and arrived in my New Yorker Newsletter on April 19, 2017.


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