In case you thought the whole “Abolish ICE” movement had died off in favor of “Abolish the Police,” think again. ICE agents in Lynn, Massachusetts arrested Rebelio Gonzalez this week on charges of being in the country illegally. Gonzalez is a repeat offender, having already entered the country illegally three times and having been deported before. But this arrest took a turn for the worse quickly. After the agents handcuffed the illegal alien and placed him in their car, his daughter called an “immigration rights activist” and very quickly a mob assembled around the ICE agents’ vehicle, refusing to let them leave. At that point, somewhat shockingly, the agents released Gonzalez. (CBS Boston)
Immigration activists in Lynn surrounded a vehicle belonging to ICE agents on Monday. Inside was Rebelio Gonzalez, handcuffed. When the activists wouldn’t move, the agents released Gonzales.
“We can’t just watch ICE come into our communities and tear families apart, in a way that doesn’t make communities safer,” said Isaac Simon-Hodes of the group called Lynn United For Change.
While the ICE agents had Gonzales handcuffed, his daughter called an activist and within minutes, they had the agents’ car surrounded.
According to the agency, there were a couple of complicating factors in the arrest of Gonzales. The primary one cited is a rule among Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers prohibiting the arrest of someone if it would “leave a young child alone.” That makes sense and is a rather compassionate approach, providing the suspect isn’t a known, dangerous felon. In that case, they might be able to wait around until a relative could be located to care for the child.
But just how young and vulnerable was Gonzales’ daughter? Note that when her father was being arrested, she didn’t dial 911. She didn’t call a relative. She knew enough to immediately call the head of an “activist” group and have him dispatch a mob of people to show up and block the ICE agents’ vehicle from leaving with the prisoner. Sounds to me like she’s fairly capable. And surely one of those activists could have contacted other family members to make sure the girl was cared for, right?
More to the point is the fact that materially interfering in an arrest or other law enforcement action by ICE during Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) is a felony. Every one of the “activists” who blocked that car from leaving should have been arrested themselves. (It’s a fair bet that they could have rounded up a few more illegal aliens in the process.)
So how did this otherwise standard enforcement operation go so far off track? I’d be willing to bet that the officers were so heavily outnumbered that they might not have been able to prevail if an altercation with the mob turned physical. If there was no backup available in the immediate area, it probably looked like the smarter option to put off Gonzales’ detainment and deportation to another day. The excuse about a young child being left alone was probably just a face-saving measure.
The point here is that we’re seeing yet another instance of mobs of people showing up in defiance of the law and disrespecting, interfering with or even attacking law enforcement officers. It’s no different from the mobs in the BLM riots going after municipal police officers, their vehicles, or precinct stations. This shouldn’t be treated as a minor matter because it represents the further erosion of our ability to maintain order in the public square. If there is dashcam footage of the incident, ICE needs to mount up a healthy squad of officers, go back in there and not only arrest Gonzalez but all of the mob members who thwarted the enforcement action.