Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients, Temporary Protected Status (TPS) recipients, and immigrant rights advocates not only had to endure harassment from local police as they peacefully demonstrated outside the Florida offices of Sen. Marco Rubio and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, they also had to endure truly ugly harassment from federal immigration authorities, after a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) truck drove by the demonstrators in what one activist calls an intimidation tactic:
Activists on the scene — where some are in the middle of a week-long fast—said the action was an attempt by CBP agents to intimidate protesters advocating for a “clean” DREAM Act and protections for recipients of so-called Temporary Protected Status, thousands of whom now face deportation.
“So far 1 hr into us being outside of Rubio’s office and they already are doing intimidation tactics, having ICE drive by our location slowly, and trying to kick us off the side walk,” wrote Paula Muńoz, who attended the protest, on Facebook.
A regional spokesperson for ICE, Nestor Yglesias, said the vehicle appearing in photos by Muńoz and other activists belonged to CBP, not ICE. Both agencies are part of the Department of Homeland Security.
A regional spokesperson for CBP, Michael Silva, said he would look into the matter but did not offer further comment.
Whether it was CBP or ICE is actually irrelevant, because both represent federal immigration agencies that have one job in the Trump era, and it’s to kick out as many immigrant families as possible. And in the process of sweeping out immigrant moms and dads who are just trying to provide for their families, agents are also using deplorable intimidation tactics to scare off other immigrants, like when ICE agents detained an Oregon man last week after he dared to speak out about his girlfriend’s arrest.