Last week, about 200 federal agents swarmed a gardening business in Ohio. They arrested 114 workers suspected of being undocumented, carting them off to immigration jails in the surrounding area. Their children, who had been dropped off at day care and school that morning, were left without parents to pick them up. In just a few hours, hundreds of lives were disrupted and families ripped apart.
Arrests, detentions and deportations are happening routinely as Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the agency responsible for immigration enforcement in the interior of the country, targets and seizes workers, parents, children and neighbors in U.S. communities. But these kinds of brutal actions — which appear to have intensified under President Trump — are not simply a result of his election. Rather, they are the product of our country’s narrowing view, formed under both Democratic and Republican administrations, of immigration as primarily a national security issue.