This is some fucked up shit, y’all. According to many reports, people are buying cheap gear and impersonating Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents to harass immigrants.
In one case, they demanded $250 from immigrants to avoid being deported. The Outline reported:
“In February, a group of four men wearing ICE jackets approached an immigrant man in Woodside, Queens and told him he’d be deported unless he gave them money, a city councilman said. The man, who officials did not name in order to protect his family, handed over $250 before fleeing.”
Unfortunately, ICE doesn’t have any policies against buying counterfeit gear. A company called Prep Sportswear sells “agency pride” merchandise that resembles official ICE gear. An Etsy user has started selling shirts that say “Border Patrol” and “ICE.”
Etsy policy says:
“Etsy does not allow illegal or counterfeit items, but items that are for entertainment purposes only may be allowed on Etsy, as long as they do not violate our policies. It is important to understand that Etsy is not a curated or juried marketplace. We evaluate items on a case by case basis as we become aware of them.”
In San Francisco, a man wearing an ICE jacket went to a Spanish-language church service and randomly took pictures of the congregants. Some of them were very scared.
These assholes should fry for harassing and extorting money from immigrants. The Etsy users and Etsy itself should be held accountable for selling these counterfeit goods. ICE should also crack down on the counterfeit gear and make their agents wear specific uniforms.
Featured Image via YouTube screenshot.