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ICE agents defend policy they knew would increase border deaths: 'That's not the same as actively killing those people.'

July 31, 2020
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<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Netflix's forthcoming six-part docuseries Immigration Nation is being hailed as "the most important TV show you’ll see in 2020" and a "damning examination of how ICE and the immigration system" operate. One of the most disturbing moments comes when ICE agents defend a policy of pushing migrants into known dangerous territory — both to make them easier to catch, and also evidently because it could result in their deaths.” data-reactid=”19″>Netflix’s forthcoming six-part docuseries Immigration Nation is being hailed as “the most important TV show you’ll see in 2020” and a “damning examination of how ICE and the immigration system” operate. One of the most disturbing moments comes when ICE agents defend a policy of pushing migrants into known dangerous territory — both to make them easier to catch, and also evidently because it could result in their deaths.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The policy dates back to the 1990s, when politicians wanted to force migrants to cross in more remote areas. "There are policy documents where they're trying to evaluate the efficacy of this program and the one that has always stuck with me is this … document that says 'ways of measuring the effectiveness of prevention through deterrence,'" explains Jason De León, a UCLA anthropologist studying Latin American migration, in Immigration Nation. "And one of the metrics they have is a rise in migrant deaths."” data-reactid=”20″>The policy dates back to the 1990s, when politicians wanted to force migrants to cross in more remote areas. “There are policy documents where they’re trying to evaluate the efficacy of this program and the one that has always stuck with me is this … document that says ‘ways of measuring the effectiveness of prevention through deterrence,'” explains Jason De León, a UCLA anthropologist studying Latin American migration, in Immigration Nation. “And one of the metrics they have is a rise in migrant deaths.”

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The Trump administration has notably focused its efforts on prevention through deterrence, despite the fact that the strategy is a proven failure. Under President Trump, migrant deaths have increased, with 2019 being one of the worst years on record, with at least 810 confirmed border deaths.” data-reactid=”21″>The Trump administration has notably focused its efforts on prevention through deterrence, despite the fact that the strategy is a proven failure. Under President Trump, migrant deaths have increased, with 2019 being one of the worst years on record, with at least 810 confirmed border deaths.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="ICE agents in Immigration Nation have complained about the way they’re perceived, and one agent, "Mike," defends the controversial policy, arguing "to say the government knew ahead of time that if they did X, Y, and Z, an outcome of that would be increased deaths, that’s not the same as actively killing those people." He added that ICE doesn’t put people in a "death funnel" because "that’s a byproduct of the policy, but it’s not the stated agenda."” data-reactid=”22″>ICE agents in Immigration Nation have complained about the way they’re perceived, and one agent, “Mike,” defends the controversial policy, arguing “to say the government knew ahead of time that if they did X, Y, and Z, an outcome of that would be increased deaths, that’s not the same as actively killing those people.” He added that ICE doesn’t put people in a “death funnel” because “that’s a byproduct of the policy, but it’s not the stated agenda.”

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="But as De León puts it: "You couldn't go out there and shoot 3,000 migrants, but 3,000 to 5,000 deaths in Arizona can be explained as, like, 'people put themselves in harm's way.' … And people are dying, and we knew they were gonna die … They're dying right now." Watch Immigration Nation on Netflix starting Monday.” data-reactid=”23″>But as De León puts it: “You couldn’t go out there and shoot 3,000 migrants, but 3,000 to 5,000 deaths in Arizona can be explained as, like, ‘people put themselves in harm’s way.’ … And people are dying, and we knew they were gonna die … They’re dying right now.” Watch Immigration Nation on Netflix starting Monday.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="More stories from theweek.com
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