Things you think you’d never hear in Am…
“If you don’t have enough evidence to charge someone criminally but you think he’s illegal, we can make him disappear.” Those chilling words were spoken by James Pendergraph, then executive director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Office of State and Local Coordination, at a conference of police and sheriffs in August 2008.
Also present was Amnesty International’s Sarnata Reynolds, who wrote about the incident in the 2009 report “Jailed Without Justice” and said in an interview, “It was almost surreal being there, particularly being someone from an organization that has worked on disappearances for decades in other countries. I couldn’t believe he would say it so boldly, as though it weren’t anything wrong.”
Pendergraph knew that ICE could disappear people, because he knew that in addition to the publicly listed field offices and detention sites, ICE is also confining people in 186 unlisted and unmarked subfield offices, many in suburban office parks or commercial spaces revealing no information about their ICE tenants — nary a sign, a marked car or even a US flag.
This is related to the previous post:
In 2006 ICE punished several Iraqi hunger strikers in Virginia–they were protesting being unlawfully held for more than six months after agreeing to deportation–by shuffling them between a variety of different facilities, ensuring that they would not encounter lawyers or be found by loved ones.