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Rounding Up People Is Fun, from Clancy Sigal (NYT)

                                       IT’S FUN!
(I’ve cut to the bone yesterday’s (25 Feb) NYT story about Trump-Bannon’s terror raids. My comments, if any, in CAPS.)
Headline: “Immigration Agents Discover New Freedom to Deport “
“In Virginia, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents waited outside a church shelter where undocumented immigrants 
had gone to stay warm. In Texas and in Colorado, agents went into courthouses, looking for foreigners who had arrived for 
Paraphrase the article: Unleashed and frustrated till now, ICE officers are thrilled, really pumped up, that the “shackles are off”, 
a phrase they love repeating.
“Gone are the Obama-era rules that required them to focus only on serious criminals. In a Southern California roundup 
officers detained 161 people with a wide range of felony and misdemeanor convictions, and 10 who had no criminal history at all.
“Before, we used to be told, ‘You can’t arrest those people,’ and we’d be disciplined for being insubordinate if we did,” 
said a 10-year veteran of the agency who took part in the operation. “Now those people are priorities again.”
Interviews with 17 agents and officials across the country demonstrated how quickly a new atmosphere in the agency had taken hold.
“Morale amongst our agents and officers has increased exponentially since the signing of Trump’s orders,” ICE and 
Border Patrol union leaders say.
“But for those with ICE badges, perhaps the biggest change was the erasing of the Obama administration’s focus 
on deporting gang members and other violent and serious criminals, and mostly leave everyone else alone.
The shift — and the new enthusiasm that has come with it — seems to have encouraged brazen, racist pro-Trump 
political comments while less hard line agents keep silent. 
Lots of banter about their jobs now becoming “fun.”
“ICE has more than 20,000 employees, spread across 400 offices in the United States and 46 foreign countries, and the Trump administration has called for the hiring of 10,000 more.
“Agents are predominantly male and have often served in the military, with a police department or both.
“The element of surprise is central to their work, and the sight of even a single white van emblazoned with the words 
Department of Homeland Security can create fear and cause people to flee. To minimize public contact, the arrests 
are frequently made in the early morning hours.
“A typical operation has teams of at least five members rising before dawn, meeting as early as 4 a.m. to make arrests 
before their targets depart for work. To avoid publicity and screams from families and children, the agents prefer to 
apprehend people outside their homes, approaching them as soon as they step onto a public sidewalk and, 
once identified, placing them in handcuffs.
“But agents also arrive in large numbers, armed with semiautomatic handguns and wearing dark bulletproof vests 
with ICE in bright white letters on them. When they do have to enter a home, officers knock loudly and announce 
themselves as the police, a term they can legally use. Many times, children are awakened in the process, 
and watch as a parent is taken away.
“BYSTANDERS are now being taken in if they are suspected to be undocumented, even if they have committed no crime.
Perhaps their biggest challenge  is the agency’s steadily deteriorating relationship with other law enforcement agencies, especially in liberal-leaning cities that have vowed to protect immigrants from deportation, known as sanctuary cities.”