ICE is trying to join in on the Pride Month fun by pushing “propaganda” photos of trans-inclusive holding cells, and people aren’t having it.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement have been tweeting strings of photos from the Cibola County Correctional Center in New Mexico, which opened a separate section for trans women in 2017.
The thread shows photos of inmates smiling while reading, playing basketball and gardening—because surely these folks just love being held in ramshackle prisons without legal recourse or due process. Happy Pride to you, too!
“ICE is committed to upholding an immigration detention system that prioritizes the health, safety, and welfare of all of those in our care in custody, including LGBTI individuals,” read one ghastly tweet.
The irony of the tweets is strong as more and more trans women continue to die in ICE detention, including one woman who died on June 1, making her the second woman within a year to die in ICE custody.
Facing injury, abuse and neglect, trans women are falling gravely ill in ICE detention, but sure, a couple tweets can put a nice band-aid on that.
Embroiled in a mesh of reports of unfair arrests, inhumane conditions and the deaths of children, the tweets’ cheerful tone seems a bit disconcerting—or really, nauseating. After all, who cares about unusable bathrooms, expired food and mold-infested holding cells when you can play basketball and pose for ICE propaganda photo shoots?
Apparently ICE would like us to know that they don’t discriminate based on gender identity for the people they detain, starve, kill and force into unlivable conditions. Good to know.
Often compared to concentration camps, ICE holding cells are notoriously awful. So it’s no surprise that efforts to push an image of facilities as happy, healthy places earned immediate comparisons to Nazi propaganda.
One user compared it to the Theresienstadt camp in Czechoslovakia, where Nazis made the now infamous 1944 Theresienstadt film to pull wool over the eyes of the International Red Cross and feign that they weren’t brutally abusing those imprisoned in concentration camps.
The icing (no pun intended) on the cake is, the posts arrive on the heels of news earlier this week that more than 5,000 migrants have been quarantined for exposure to mumps and chicken pox. Where are they in the propaganda pics?