So we’re all aware of how Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has been of late going after undocumented workers with a fury that is rather terrifying. What may not be as well known is that ICE has started arresting legal residents, and even naturalized citizens of these United States on rather questionable charges. For example, consider this case, the story of Jose Luis Garcia, who has spent fifty years in the United States, was entirely an American in every regard, but then was arrested in full view of his family by ICE on some ancient domestic abuse charges which long ago were settled. And this story in Splinter about how ICE is deliberately setting out to “de-naturalize” as many immigrants as it can.

This is most disturbing, of course. The whole thing is clearly meant to play to Trump’s base—which basically wants anyone with a dark skin or a different accent kicked out of the country, no matter how long they’ve lived here. But I wonder if there isn’t more to it than that.

Specifically, it looks as if ICE is slowly but surely being prepped to be a kind of Internal Security Force. It is being given more and more power, relieved of almost any oversight, and encouraged to be as brutal as possible—for example, consider the treatment of children at the border, which verges on the genuinely sadistic.

That being the case, one has to ask, how long before ICE is turned against native-born American citizens? Specifically on political dissidents and critics of Trump?  Perhaps on the excuse that they have foreign ideas? And then, finally, even that pretense will fade away, and ICE will simply be a party army for the despots in charge, and a criminal organization…

As vile as any of the cartels it was meant to oppose.