In recent struggles against I.C.E., deportations, and all the state apparatuses that reproduce the violence of borders, there has been a shift from making demands of politicians to directly targeting the contractors, detention centers, and infrastructure that make these operations possible. The wisdom of this strategic maneuver is its recognition of the organization of power in our world–wherein power flows not primarily through the halls of politicians, but in the mundane infrastructure that reproduces this society and its violence. An important portion of this infrastructure, particularly in the context of the deportation machine, is the transportation and logistics infrastructure–that is, the vans, buses, and other means by which the State transports incarcerated migrants. This circulatory system keeps assorted offices, processing centers, and detention facilities connected. Sometimes, this infrastructure is managed directly by the State–whether I.C.E, Border Patrol, or DHS. However, in many places this infrastructure is contracted out to other private companies.
Autonomous Student Media: Gestures Towards the Ungovernable
Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) spends hundreds of millions of dollars each year on contracted services, which include everything from IT and technical support to chartered flights and ground transportation. Dozens of companies grow rich from giving ICE the tools they need to surveil, incarcerate, and deport an ever-increasing number of migrants.
ICE also pays individuals for services, and among them is Todd A. Radford. A career cop, Radford is currently the police chief of Lakeway, Texas, an 82% white suburb of Austin with a 3.3% poverty rate. Radford has a combination of criminal justice and business degrees, and makes money on top of his police chief salary from giving lectures. The average salary of a police chief for a town the size of Lakeway is about $90,000/year.
ICE has paid Radford an average of more than $11,000 a year for these lectures. One lecture is billed as “a unique training geared to law enforcement management”, and the other is simply described as “law enforcement training”. One can imagine the pearls of wisdom Radford has gained after 30 years of doing capitalism and nationalism’s dirty work. As the police are given more and more money, discretion, and military equipment, ICE is eager to cozy up behind the thin blue line with them.
People who live near the US/Mexico border and people suffering from poverty alike know how militarized cops of all stripes have become. Collaborations like the one between ICE and this police chief can only further harm migrants, racialized people, and poor people as cops of different stripes become more and more comfortable with sharing knowledge and information. This collaboration between Radford and ICE is above and beyond what the infamous SB4 requires of law enforcement. Radford denounced the law in 2015 while he was running for Travis County Sheriff. Unsurprisingly, he does not actually give a shit about the people he criminalizes.
Close the lines of communication between the pigs and open the borders!
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Republished from a document produced by Revolutionary Horizon
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If this interests you, check out this article regarding an anti-ICE & anti-fascist alert system set up by organizers in San Antonio.
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