Increasing violence against ICE? Feds let ‘Occupy ICE’ perpetrators off easy

· August 29, 2019  
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Antifa at Berkeley August 2018
Amy Osborne/AFP | Getty Images

There is a dangerous trend percolating throughout the country – the delegitimization of enforcement of our immigration law. One of the many battles of this war on American sovereignty is the growing violence against ICE operations. Following several attacks on ICE facilities, now would be the time to make an example of the first Antifa fighters prosecuted for illegally disrupting ICE. Instead, federal prosecutors in Oregon inexplicably let Antifa members who caused the shutdown of an ICE facility for 10 days last year off the hook.

The Oregonian is reporting that six individuals who helped block the entries to ICE’s Portland facility last June, causing it to shut down at a cost of $1.8 million, were let off without a conviction:

The six have agreed to each pay $100 fines, complete 10 hours of community service by the end of this year and stay at least 200 feet away from the federal facility for one year, Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Kerin told a judge.

The six defendants were slated to stand trial on two misdemeanor counts that could have resulted in some jail time, but for whatever reason the federal prosecutors in Oregon were unwilling to press the case. According to the Oregonian, this is part of a new rule:

Under a new local rule adopted by the U.S. District of Oregon on Aug. 1, those who pay a fine stemming from a federal misdemeanor or petty offense citation won’t face a criminal conviction. They may waive their appearance before a federal magistrate judge and dispose of the matter by paying a fine approved by the court, ending the case. It won’t constitute a criminal conviction or admission of guilt.

The problem is that this is not just any petty crime. Any good prosecutor will tell you that “small” crimes matter if they are fueling a growing dangerous trend. We’ve seen a dangerous attempted terror attack on the Tacoma, Washington, facility, a shooting into the San Antonio ICE office building, and destruction of property at the Aurora, Colorado, facility.

This amnesty sends the message to Antifa members that they won’t even risk a criminal record if they disrupt ICE with anarchy.

Of all places, Portland is where the feds need to take a strong stand, because Antifa feels no deterrent from local law enforcement, who seem to be nowhere in sight when Antifa perpetrates violence. In July, I had then-acting field director of ICE’s Seattle office, Brian Wilcox, on my podcast and asked him if he gets cooperation from law enforcement, in Oregon and Washington in general and in Portland in particular, when Antifa gets violent against ICE. Of Portland, he said emphatically, “No.”

“To be frank with you, it depends on where we are, we definitely are not getting cooperation locally in Portland.”

Why the Department of Justice did not act more aggressively in this case to back its partners at the Department of Homeland Security is mystifying. In general, there has been very little effort at the DOJ to go after sanctuary city politicians and private citizens who obstruct immigration law, harbor illegal aliens, or shield them from protection.

While federal prosecutors fail to stand with ICE, Michelle Malkin, who is coming out with a new book on the assault on immigration law, is planning a #StandWithICE counter-movement to show support for the beleaguered agency. She is traveling to sanctuary cities to promote ICE’s mission.

As I’ve said before, in many ways, ICE is the most important law enforcement agency in America for public safety outcomes. Every crime committed by foreign nationals, by definition, is an avoidable crime, and certainly the subsequent crimes after they are caught the first time. ICE has the legal power and scope to completely remove them from the country so that, unlike with American criminals, Americans never have to suffer from their repeat crimes.

As Antifa anarchy and the civil disobedience in our legal and political system against immigration laws intensify, federal prosecutors would be wise to heed the warning of President Calvin Coolidge during his 1927 Memorial Day address:

We have made our place in the world through the Union and the Constitution. We have flourished as a people because of our success in establishing self-government. But all of these results are predicated upon a law-abiding people. If our own country should be given over to violence and crime, it would be necessary to diminish the bounds of our freedom to secure order and self-preservation. In whatever direction we may go we are always confronted with the inescapable conclusion that unless we observe the law we cannot be free.

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Author: Daniel Horowitz

Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.