Immigration Jackboots Say They’re Just Doing Their Job

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

What does the Border Patrol have to say for itself for stalking and abducting a 10-year-old girl with cerebral palsy from the hospital?

They're just doing their jobs, they say, and that's bullshit.

Dan Hetlage, a spokesman for Customs and Border Protection, says throughout the two-day incident, agents were just enforcing federal immigration law.

"The agent is wrong if he lets her go. We don't have the discretion. It's not a traffic ticket. We follow the letter of the law," he said.

"It's frustrating for us," he continued, "I'm a human being. The agents are trying to do their job as humanely as possible."

They actually do have discretion and this isn't the letter of the law and certainly not the spirit of the law. The law doesn't mandate that armed agents board ambulances and patrol hospital rooms with guns at their sides.

Immigration authorities are not suppose stalk sensitive locations like hospitals, schools, and churches unless there's an urgent threat to national security, but they are. There's no one in charge. There's no rules. No respect. No dignity. Immigration agents are acting on their own initiative now and arresting virtually anyone they want to for any reason. They're having "fun."

Humans are capable of doing unspeakable things so I'm not impressed by Hetlage's plea to see agents as victims. They can always quit.

  • muselet

    Echoing Dread_Pirate_Mathius, I wonder if Dan Hetlage realizes that sort of defense was explicitly rejected by the judges at the Nuremberg trials (later, that rejection was codified as Nuremberg Principle IV: “The fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him.”)



  • Badgerite

    Seriously. A 10 year old girl with cerebral palsy? This is trump and the trump supporter down to their core.
    And it has absolutely nothing to do with “economic anxiety”.

    • Attorney for the family says the poor girl is very confused about why they won’t let her go home. So she doesn’t appear to even have the capacity to understand what is happening. It’s just despicable.

      • Badgerite

        It is even clear that there is any relative in Mexico that she could stay with? This is ridiculous and sadistic. This has nothing to do with the national interest or law. It is just cruelty for the sake of cruelty. This is the kind of thing that gives the lie to all of the evangelical rights posturings. IMO

  • Username1016

    ALL jackbooted thugs are “just doing their job.” How do they think that’s an excuse?

  • Victor the Crab

    I was about to say the exact same thing.

  • Dread_Pirate_Mathius

    “I was just following orders” wasn’t much of a defense at Nuremberg, either.

    • Victor the Crab

      I was about to say that exact same thing.