When we think of deportations in America we usually think of the Immigrations & Customs Enforcement or ICE, which are basically immigration cops that bust into suspected undocumented immigrants homes and separate families. We think of the detention centers that during the Trump era were referred to as ‘cages’ but in the Biden era are called “Immigrant Decompression Centers”. Now it sounds like the kids are taken to a spa and have cucumbers on their eyes and get massages to decompress from the stress of being an immigrant. But they are not. They just see-through plastic cages where ICE agents walk around and monitor these kids like they’re zoo animals.
Ok I get it some of you watching might already be squeamish at the dark jokes right at the top the piece here, but things are about to get a little worse before they get better. So if you don’t want to further get upset by the truth about America’s atrocities, this would be a good time to switch to a video of a cat hugging a dog or a podcast about Orange Man Bad to feel better.
As terrible as ICE is – which was a created under the Obama Administration aka “the Deporter in Cheif” – there is another department that handles immigrants that is far worse than ICE. And no it’s not the TSA or a ‘Karen’ that speaks very slowly and loudly at minorities. Although they are both pretty terrible. Look I don’t need someone to yell English in slow motion at me. I speak the Queen’s English, which I have now redubbed “Engkrish”. That’s right! The English occupied and enslaved my home country for hundreds of years so I’m taking their language, which really seems to be all the English oligarchs have these days.
The Customs & Border Protection, or CBP is the agency that uses immigration as a way violate as many human rights as possible. Everything is a competition under Capitalism – even Human Rights abuses! You should not want to win the best human rights violator award! Can we add that to the Constitution? Because I feel like America just hasn’t understood that! You can’t be proud that you’re number 1 in prison populations but 483rd in Math and then say Math doesn’t count! For fucks sake, you’re using math to rank yourself! At this point, Texas Instruments just proves the imperial control of Math!
Anyway, the CBP is an organization who’s history dates back to World War 2. As many Americans joined the Armed services, a lot of other services needed tending to. In our history classes we learn how women stepped up and took over manufacturing and production. But we miss the Bracero Program, which was a binational agreement to have Mexican laborers come into the states to take care of all the agricultural needs. This included some undocumented workers that came through as well. But the US didn’t notice, since there was like WORLD war going on.
Now at this time in the mid-40s, Harry Truman was growing ever more paranoid about Communists. Is paranoia a prerequisite for most modern Presidents? Woodrow Wilson, Harry Truman, Richard Nixon, Regan, the Bushes, Trump, Biden and even Obama were all paranoid about any philosophy that pointed out the dumpster fire that is Capitalism for what it is – A dumpster fire. So in 1946, Congress extended the authority of the 1600 Border Agents to a “reasonable distance” from any border. They did not define what was reasonable. In fact I’m actually not sure if Congress knows the meaning of the word.
By 1954, Eisenhower appointed a retired general, J.M. Swing to head the Immigration and Naturalization Service, or INS. And when I think about immigration, boy do I think military! Who better to take up the administrative task of cleaning up the immigration problem than armed soldiers ready for war! And go figure J.M. Swing is quoted to say that undocumented Mexicans coming across the border was “invasion” and there were “mounting waves of people” reaching further inland. One might say his view on immigrants was a ‘Swing and a miss’.
Look I’m allowed one bad joke here and there, especially when I’m trying to get people see how paranoid nationalism leads to fascist authoritarianism.
At this same time the Justice Department said “reasonable distance” was 100 air miles and Swing was proposing a permanent “special mobile force” to deport Mexicans. This grew into “Operation: Wetback”, where Latino farming communities in California, Washington and as far in land as Chicago were raided and terrorized. Wetback is an ethnic slur that comes from asylum seeking immigrants that have to cross a body of water to get America. The immigrants that were raided and arrested were then detained in parks, surround by barbed wire.
It’s almost like they were concentrated in a camp of some sort…and just in case that was too subtle for some people, I am saying America had Immigrant Concentration Camps. Just like the Japanese Concentration Camps during World War 2 and in Tulsa in 1921 during the Race Massacre where they had Black Concentration Camps and marked employed black folks with green band. It’s also similar to how mining companies operated in the early 1900s, by having company towns where miners got paid in fake money called scrips. And it was illegal for them go outside the company town to get supplies. Gee I wonder where the Nazis could’ve gotten their ideas from? For purveyors of Democracy, America sure has used a lot of Nazi tactics before the Nazis were a thing! And they seem to use Nazi tactics a whole lot after too!
At the end of operation, 300k people were deported, including some citizens that got swept in the raids. I guess Border Patrol wanted citizens to have fun with some government sponsored racism too! Equality in inequality! A lot of folks drowned because they were being transferred in the equivalent of slave ships! And a bunch more people died of heat exhaustion when they got abandoned in a desert! Go figure an Operation with a racist name would lead to the deaths of countless brown people.
After 9/11 things with CBP got worse…and not just for the public but for everyone. Former President and current War Criminal George W. Bush, aka the Decider, decided to roll CBP into the DHS, which the Department of Homeland Security. With their jurisdiction being 100 air miles, they covered over 38 states, 9 major cities and a metric ton of Waffle Houses. States like Michigan and cities like LA and Houston are fully under the jurisdiction of the CBP. And more often than not, CBP tags along with police officers especially if there’s a disturbance with a Spanish speaker. These incidents often lead to the death of innocent Latinos who the cops and CBP perceive as a threat.
Within 25 miles of a border, CBP virtually has no restrictions. Regardless of your citizenship they can come in and raid your house without provocation and there’s nothing anyone can say about it. This is a very clear violation of the Fourth Amendment. And depending on how long they stay in your home, it could be a violation of the 3rd Amendment as well. And since most Americans don’t much about any other Amendment than the second and maybe the first, let’s go over what these Amendments say. In brief, the Fourth Amendment grants you privacy and the 3rd prevents any solider from living in your home. So if the CBP agents demand they stay dinner they’d start violating the 3rd and 4th Amendments.
One of the places these agents violate the Fourth Amendment is the checkpoints itself. These checkpoints have been the source of various abuse reports. The abuses range from physical, emotional and sexual! In these instances, people are taken out of their cars into an interrogation room and forced to into falsely confessing to drug possessions or trafficking. If they don’t, they’re detained without further explanations, subjected to MULTIPLE body cavity searches done at the checkpoint and at hospitals in the area. This includes looking into people’s rectums and women’s vaginas! Where did they get people that are ok with this? Did the CBP post job ads on Craigslist or the shady part of Indeed.com? And all this happens even after they find nothing during searches of the vehicles or the persons.
After violating civil rights and the Fourth Amendment they use hospital charges as a point of exploitation to get people to sign consent forms to the unlawful searches, which include a male doctor looking through a woman’s vagina and rectum for drugs. If you’re really looking for illegal drugs entering the country you should’ve looked into the anuses and ball bags of the CEOs of Big Pharma companies or perhaps the ball bags and rectums of various CIA agents who have trafficked more drugs into America than any average person. In fact the CPB hardly finds any drugs at all. About 40% of their seizures are 1 ounce or less of Marijuana taken from citizens. And most of these cases are thrown out as a waste of time, especially when the agents claim Reefer Madness as their key witness.
Vermont Senator Patrick Lehy and Representative and winner of the Tony Hawk wannabe award, Beto O’Rourke were also illegally detained in their respectful states of Vermont and Texas by the CBP under drug trafficking suspicions. The justification for this is to prevent “criminal aliens that would run wild” across America. The only criminal alien that has been allowed to run wild in America is the European colonizers who stole this land from the Natives and the Mexicans…and also General Zod from Krypton. But one is a fictional character and the other is historical fact that America tries to hide on a daily basis. Turns out you don’t get an award for “Best Genocide”, no matter how hard you try. So maybe America should just stop and Papa England will give America that hug it has been waiting for the last 300 years.
But even that isn’t true. Only 2% of people that were apprehended by the CBP were undocumented immigrants trying to cross the border. CBP has a skin color chart and racial data. They claim these are just Appearance Annotations. Perhaps its not racist…maybe they’re just trying to figure out a good color for the walls of their illegal detention facilities. “We’d love our walls to look like your skin!” Yeah as I say that out loud I’m hearing that’s still fucking creepy as hell. Look there’s no good reason to have a skin color chart or swatch. None. It’s just racist. And that makes the CBP a racist organization violating the Bill Of Rights.
On top this, they aren’t required to wear body cameras or have dash cams. And there’s no records kept of the unlawful search & seizures. And so this means the courts side with the CBP when it comes to most unlawful searches and seizures. Despite the fact that a high court in the 70s said these checkpoints & searches are unconstitutional, the courts today are saying that as long as CBP feels there is a reasonable suspicion that person has drugs or is trafficking migrants, they can do whatever they have to.
But I ask you, what’s reasonable about multiple body cavity searches when you find nothing on the person or their vehicle? What’s reasonable about having a skin color chart to justify who could be a potential trafficker? What’s reasonable about raiding the homes of average citizens trying to go about their day? Is it a wonder that people of color in America feel unsafe by anyone carrying a badge and a gun when this is the type of agency that operates with impunity and validated by the justice system?
This agency is another in the line of tactics used to hide the imperialist history of America. Most migrants are coming up to the States in harrowing conditions because of US intervention in their country. Throughout history, America has used its corporate media and the intelligence communities to demonize Socialism and Communism to justify installing puppet dictators & imposing sanctions on nations that don’t willingly allow them to steal their resources. When the dictator acts as a dictator would, people flee to a country that claims it’s the best and has the most amount of freedom.
These agencies are also validated by the language of American leadership. Both Donald Trump and Kamala Harris have told migrants not to come to the United States. And Kamala Harris went as far as to blame countries like Guatemala for their problems, while ignoring the history of rampant US intervention that led to terrible conditions in those countries.
The existence of agencies like the Customs & Border Protection and the Immigrantion & Customs Enforcement prove that America is not really a Democracy. Both agencies are incredibly corrupt and act with fascistic authorities while claiming they are protecting democracy. And with the courts siding with them, and Congress people that are against them getting detained against their will and the offices of the Presidents validating them, its shows that all 3 branches of the government are complicit with this type of corruption. CBP was created out of paranoid discrimination to forcefully get rid of a problem manufactured by America itself. Until agencies like the CBP and ICE are abolished this nation can’t claim it’s free or democratic.
Krish Mohan is a socially conscious, Indian standup comedian and writer who regularly tours the country. He performs at small theaters, bars, comedy clubs, colleges, DIY and house venues. With his quirky attitude, charming personality, and intelligent humor, Krish captivates and engages audiences of all backgrounds, tackling hot button topics like race, religion, war, immigration, while adding an optimistic, philosophical & sociological twist!