FILE – In this May 25, 2010 file photo, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent walks down the aisle among shackled Mexican immigrants a boarded a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement charter jet for deportation in the air between Chicago, Il. and Harlingen, Texas. A Homeland Security Department internal watchdog says U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement could have saved millions of dollars on charter flights carrying deported immigrants to their home countries by not leaving seats empty. (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)

Allegedly, ICE is arresting and moving to deport noxious and highly visible illegals who subsist upon the grift of criticizing US immigration policy that hasn’t bothered to deport them. Color me shocked. But not as shocked as the feckless naif who wrote this piece for Vice.

Marcos Baltazar, an undocumented immigrant from Guatemala who sits on the board of the Alabama-based immigrants’ rights group Adelante, was arrested during a routine check-in on Thursday. He and his 18-year-old son are being held at the Etowah County Detention Center, a facility plagued by allegations of human rights abuses.

Though Adelante has been hesitant to accuse ICE of detaining Baltazar because of his advocacy work, he’s not the first high-profile activist the agency has arrested. The next day, Francisco Silva, a volunteer with the Chicago-based Organized Communities Against Deportations, was also arrested during a bond review Friday even though an immigration judge released him on bond in 2015. And in May, immigration officers arrested an undocumented college student just three days after he read a poem criticizing the agency.

The Department of Homeland Security has also kept tabs on journalists and lawyers in both the U.S. and Mexico, according to documents leaked earlier this year.

“This is definitely a marked shift from past policies where people’s involvement in immigrants’ rights, civil rights, and labor rights was recognized as a reason for a person to not be targeted,” said Alina Das, the co-director of the Immigrant Rights Clinic at NYU Law School. “That activism was, at minimum, respected, and certainly was not a basis for targeting people.”

According to the story, Mr. Baltazar and his son Juan were apprehended shortly after entering the US and were paroled under the catch-and-release program on the condition that they make regular check-ins with ICE. Baltazar parlayed his illegal status into membership on the board of directors of a group representing illegals called Adelante Alabama because that’s what you do when you’re in a country illegally and they haven’t kicked you out, you agitate and criticize.

When he showed up for his check-in last week he found himself in the bureacratic version of the Black Flag Roach Motel, he could check in, he just couldn’t check out. Now he is in detention awaiting deportation proceedings. In January, ICE arrested Ravi Ragbir, the head of a sanctuary group, and sent him to a detention camp in Florida to wait for the plane ride home. Just a few days before this guy was detained, ICE deported the founder of his organization, a multiple felon named Jean Montrevil who had been allowed to stay in the US for years.

One of the people quoted in the story tries to make this a Constitutional issue (I think it is so adorable when people hold our Constitution and laws in such contempt that they make it their life’s work fighting both, suddenly discover it when in jeopardy):

In many ways, it’s ICE reversing course. They made a decision at one point that a person like Ravi or a person like [Baltazar] did not need to be detained, did not need to be deported,” said Das, the NYU lawyer who represented Ragbir. “If those individuals are not breaking additional laws or violating the terms of their supervision, and then they get picked up because they had spoken out, that is a constitutional problem. It’s a classic First Amendment problem.”

Freedom of speech is not a get-out-of-jail-free (or stay-in-this-country-forever) card and a change of policy, even one designed as a warning shot for similarly situated loudmouthed ingrates would hardly be illegal. Law enforcement targets visible scofflaws all the time.

Anyway, we can only hope that its true and that we’ve finally moved enough Democrat dross and dreck out of leadership positions and ICE that the agency will finally get on board with President Trump’s agenda of enforcing the laws and not permitting a dual system of law enforcement were illegals have more freedom from arrest than American citizens.