U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the federal agency that wants attention more for its complex customs and terrorism investigations than its immigration duties, has gone on a media blitz as of late.
ICE chief John Morton has popped up all over the place, from making public appearances around the country. Along with Morton’s visibility, the agency has also tried to raise its profile in other ways, with an organizational shake-up and press releases on everything from child pornography busts to its efforts to crackdown on human rights violators seeking safe haven in the United States.
Under the Obama administration ICE officials have stated that one of their priorities is to reform how the agency detains immigrants. In late July, the agency unveiled a new online system to find detained immigrants after previous reports of detainees moved around the country.
Last week the agency posted on its web site a month-by-month report of deportations. ICE has also tweaked its site, with prominent displays of the statistics, the new detainee finder system and its list of reforms.
However, according to immigration advocates, the agency might take another look at some of the displays. The image used for the online detainee locator system of a little girl and an adult woman searching for someone in the computer screen. According to Frank Sharry, executive director of America’s Voice, a pro-immigration group that advocates for reform, the photo on the web site was a cruel joke rather than an image enhancer since ICE has separated more families than any other federal agency by far.
ICE replaced the image for the online detainee locator system with an image of a computer keyboard recently. Furthermore, an ICE spokesman said the agency would review the web site.