There are a million kinds of stupid, and sometimes I think that our political leaders, one by one, are bound and determined to show the American people each and every one of them. The latest example comes to us courtesy of Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-N.Y.).
CNN tells us that "A bill introduced Thursday [by Velazquez] aims to thwart Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers from wearing clothing labeled with the words 'police,' arguing the practice is deceiving."
Velazquez's bill comes on the heels of whining by certain open borders and pro-sanctuary groups about federal agents wearing protective vests and other clothing identifying them as both "ICE" (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) and "POLICE". Some allege to be worried that it may lead to confusion.
Personally I doubt it; it seems to me that they are faux-concerned, and that this is just another chance to make mischief in the larger war against renewed efforts to enforce immigration laws after the many dysfunctional years of the Obama administration in which all too often they got their way.
But having been a federal agent for many years, let me speak to this for a moment in a serious way.
First, there is no doubt that what ICE is does is a federal police function. Let me repeat myself: it is a police function. Ironically, in fact, in many other countries that I'm aware of, immigration and border enforcement form a key part of the function of national police forces — including, let me point out, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. That our country is organized somewhat differently doesn't belie the reality of what ICE agents are: They are a kind of federal police. State and local officers do not have an exclusive hold on the word, which at its heart is generic — see, for instance, Merriam Webster dictionary.
Second, if Rep. Velazquez or any of the groups that feel they need to retreat into their safe zones because use of the word "police" by ICE is a "trigger" on their emotional well-being, they should stop for a minute to reflect that many foreigners who come to the United States don't have a clue what the acronym ICE signifies. On the other hand, the word "police" and its many foreign variants ("policia", "polizei", "polis", etc., etc.) is immediately understood. For the safety of the officers and the public at large, not to mention the aliens the agents may be taking into custody, it is absolutely critical that during enforcement operations no one mistake these officers and agents for anything other than what they are. The word "POLICE" in large block print on their work clothes and gear transmits that information in a micro-second. And everyone is safer for it.
Surely, there are more pressing matters that our members of Congress should be focused on rather than ill-conceived attempts to micro-manage federal agents' work gear.
I would suggest that in the future, Rep. Velazquez limit her legislative attempts to things she can speak to with competence, but that might perhaps severely limit the field of her endeavors.