It’s a damn good acronym. It stands for Immigration & Customs Enforcement, one of the successor agencies to Immigration & Naturalization Service (INS) when INS was reorganized under the Department of Homeland Security.
Now, I’ve always thought that Department of Homeland Security was a very Orwellian name, appropriate to the New Orwellian Future of Bush/Cheney. The only thing wrong with the acronym ICE in fitting under this paradigm is how honest it is: no doublespeak here. INS was scary: ICE is scarier.
I haven’t said much about it through all the immigration protests going on these days, because for self-protection I have had to maintain a reserve in face of the daily news. I’ve got a problem with despair, see, & to survive, I’ve got to keep myself from getting too damn close to the edges of the pit. But of course, this time last year a certain Australian I love was visiting in Great Falls, Montana, & little did we know that she was on the cusp of being under ICE’s control.
Yep, at the end of that visit to a “friend,” she was dobbed in to the U.S. Border Patrol (we are about 99% certain that the dobber was the supposed friend in Great Falls), was arrested, spent a few frightening days & nights in a county jail in Havre, Montana before being transferred to a contract facility in Aurora, Colorado — under contract, that is, to ICE. Where she came face to face with some of the other stories of misery & injustice & grief of women caught up in this nation’s immigration net.
She was in detention a total of four weeks before we managed to bond her out, last June. Bonded her out, got her back to Detroit on a Greyhound, & just before her court date in November bought her a plane ticket home. Immigration Court agreed with the ticket: they said, go home, & get this paperwork signed. So she went back to Oz on the ticket I bought her, got her paperwork signed at the American embassy in Sydney, & got word back from the Australian post office that her paperwork proving she’d left the U.S. as per the court’s order had arrived with the appropriate office of ICE in early January.
End of story, or it should be.
But here, five months later, ICE still hasn’t closed the case. And therefore my credit cards that I used to secure her bond are still in hock to the bond company, unusable.
Bastards. Bastards. They will take your money in a minute, but damned if they’ll let you have control of it back. And yes, this is a hardship.
Well. The woman at the bond company said she’d call up the ICE office tomorrow & try to find out if I would ever be able to get use of my credit back again.