The Daily(ish) Review

The Daily Edit: LA Times and ICE

Switching The Daily Edit up a bit. I think I'll focus on one article. I may also switch the title to The Daily Review.

My initial intent was to choose an article or articles at random, the first 3 things I read during the day. I've decided to change that. I try to limit my internet time, so I want to be deliberate about the things I read. I'll still throw in the randomness from time to time.

ICE raids, 'collateral' arrests spark terror in immigrant communities

Article by Brittny Mejia

I chose this article because I want to know more about what U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is doing. I want to understand the images and stories I'm seeing about the detentions, raids, and treatment of families at the border.

It's an informative article that describes ICE operations in Los Angeles. Throughout the article, there's an emphasis on statistics and numbers, especially the number or percentage of people detained who had criminal records. At least two of the crimes are significant - rape and voluntary manslaughter. There isn't a lot of context about the circumstances of the other criminal records. I can understand why; a newspaper article like this isn't designed for that length, time, and level of research. Still, I'd like to know how many are being targeted for small crimes committed years ago. I think Trump / ICE supporters would argue that that information is irrelevant.

I only found one edit:

"Latinos make up an estimated 50% of the L.A. field office, Marin said. Of the seven agents gathered for a 5 a.m. briefing in the parking lot of a Compton shopping mall, five of were Latino."

- "five of were" - ditch the of.

The article looked closely at one woman's situation. ICE agents arrested her following a conviction for a controlled substance. This is what ICE spokesman David Marin had to say.

Marin said it’s important for legal residents to try to become U.S citizens.

“If she would have become a U.S. citizen when she was eligible, we wouldn’t be here,” Marin said about Espejel. “We wouldn’t be knocking on your door if you were a United States citizen. But because she’s a lawful permanent resident, because she’s committed crimes that make her amenable to removal, she has to answer to it.”
— LA Times

- Language similar to this comes up frequently with respect to these arrests and deportations. It's the sense that ICE and the United States are victims here, their hands tied. Sarah Sanders used similar language in a press briefing the other day in which she got some tough questions about why the United States was breaking up families at the border.

- "amenable to removal" - Interesting word choice. I wonder why he didn't say subject to removal. Here's the Merriam-Webster definition for amenable. I didn't realize the latitude you can get with that word.

Definition of amenable

1 : liable to be brought to account : answerable citizens amenable to the law
2 a : capable of submission (as to judgment or test) : suited The data is amenable to analysis.
b : readily brought to yield, submit, or cooperate a government not amenable to change
c : willing 1 was amenable to spending more time at home
— Merriam-Webster

It was interesting to read the perspective of one of the ICE agents.

One of the agents said that he felt that the negative opinion of the agency has recently intensified.

“Even the cops don’t like us anymore, because they’re listening to the news also. ‘Oh you guys are just separating families,’” said the agent, who did not want his name included. “It’s not like we like being seen like that. We don’t like it, but it’s positive that we’re out here, in my opinion. And we do this every day. We get tired of it, we get tired of the negative looks — but what are we going to do?”

The agent blamed media coverage.
— LA Times

Conclusion: It's a good article about a topic we should all be better informed on. I appreciated the sense of being in the story, in the neighborhood. But I didn't think the overall article matched the tone of the title. The first person mentioned, a woman named Sonia, didn't seem terrified, even though she probably should have been very concerned. Sonia wondered if her interaction with ICE would have been different if there hadn't been a reporter on the scene.

I wonder if ICE will return to speak with her. If I had written this article I might have left Sonia's name and background out of the story or obscured. The ICE agents likely included her information in a report, but including it in the LA Times could prompt others to call for a follow-up visit.

Last, I noticed that the images do not include front, facial views of the ICE agents. I wondered if that was intentional or coincidental. Is that the trade-off for gaining the access? Either way, I'm not criticizing it, just mentioning that it's something I noticed while going through the article.