White House deputy director Natalie Montelongo in 2018 stated that ICE "doesn't have to exist" and urged far-left extremists to "shut-it-down" by targeting local ICE facilities. At the time, Antifa militants sieged Portland's field office, barricaded exits, and trapped federal employees inside.
"If you're looking for a way to help," tweeted the deputy director for political strategy and outreach at the White House under the Biden administration, "look up your nearest ICE office and shut-it-down." Montelongo posted the statement on June 21, 2018, in response to an article about anti-ICE protests in Portland, Ore.
"This administration's actions are not motivated by public safety concerns," tweeted Montelongo on May 10, 2018. "[T]hey're terrorizing immigrant communities. #ICE didn't exist 15 years ago, it doesn't have to exist now."
"I witnessed them sending 'guards' to patrol those doors," The Post Millennial's editor-at-large Andy Ngo tweeted Tuesday, reporting that the Portland Police under Mayor Ted Wheeler, who also serves as the city's police commissioner, denied pleas for help.
A mob surrounded the site to demand ICE's immediate abolition on June 19, 2018. At night, insurrectionists laid on the street, stopping traffic at the critical junction in the vicinity of the nearby hospital. The occupation lasted more than one week.
During that time, the gathering set up camp behind the building, where journalists were harassed and photography was banned. The open-borders advocates also erected an 8-foot wall around the perimeter where young children, including infants, suffered in squalid conditions and 90-degree heat, Ngo reported in 2018 for the Wall Street Journal. Every American flag was defaced while anarchist banners were unsullied.
The article titled, "Anarchy Breaks Out in Portland, With the Mayor's Blessing," covered how Portland Police officers followed Wheeler's orders to do nothing.
"At this time I am denying your request for additional resources," the Portland Police Bureau deputy chief Robert Day wrote to federal officers pleading for help. The remaining ICE workers were evacuated hours later by federal police.
Signs called ICE employees "Nazis" and "white supremacists," demanding open borders and the prosecution of ICE agents. Vandals wrote out the names of ICE employees, encouraging others to publish the staff's private information online.
"The goal was to intimidate federal employees from working." Ngo explained the doxing tactic to Montelongo via Twitter, but she had scrubbed the initial tweet.
After it was revealed that she once called for sedition against federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers and personnel, Montelongo then deleted the old 2018 tweets within hours, locked down her Twitter account, and blocked Ngo.
Ngo had archived Montelongo's tweets inciting violent behavior in Portland to be repeated elsewhere. Leftists went on to firebomb and shoot other ICE facilities.
Antifa gunman Willem Van Spronsen targeted the ICE detention center in Tacoma, Washington. The armed member of the Puget Sound John Brown Gun Club, an anti-fascist group in the Seattle area, hurled incendiary devices in July 2019 at the building in an attempt to ignite the attached 500-gallon propane tank.
One month later, about the same time, shots were fired at two ICE buildings in San Antonio, Texas. The shootings left one person injured. Investigators determined that ICE officials were the intended victims. The ICE operations were located on the upper floors where the first building housed multiple tenants.
ICE ERO (Enforcement and Removal Operations) San Antonio field office director Daniel Bible considered the national dialogue regarding illegal immigration reckless and blamed the violent events on politicians, mainstream media, and activists fanning the flames of division.
"Political rhetoric and misinformation that various politicians, media outlets and activist groups recklessly disseminate to the American people regarding the ICE mission only serve to further encourage these violent acts," Bible told The Hill. "ICE officers put their lives on the line each and every day to keep our communities safe. This disturbing public discourse shrouds our critical law enforcement function and unnecessarily puts our officers' safety at risk."
Montelongo worked as the national campaign strategist for immigrant rights at American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) where she organized the "Keeping Families Together" rally with immigrant advocacy groups in front of the federal courthouse in Brownsville, Texas. Born in Harlingen and raised in Matamoros, she would trek across the international bridge every morning to attend school in Brownsville, Tex.
"From a young age I remember having to cross back and forth from Matamoros to Brownsville to go school," Montelongo told The Brownsville Herald for an article touting the Mexican-American. "That's how I started going to school in the U.S."
Montelongo served in the Obama administration and as national political director for Housing and Urban Development secretary Julian Castro's failed 2020 presidential bid. Castro campaigned for the decriminalization of illegal border crossings while President Joe Biden is now facing an escalating border crisis.
ICE deported 2,962 illegal immigrants last month, according to data obtained by the Washington Post. Deportations dropped in April, a 20 percent decline from March and record low since figures had never dropped below 3,000 per month.
"U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has concentrated its limited law enforcement resources on threats to national security, border security, and public safety," an ICE spokesperson told Axios via press statement last Wednesday, allowing the agency to "focus on the quality of enforcement actions" rather than "the simple quantity of arrests and removals."