In a recent sketch, “comedian” Michelle Wolf launched a malicious attack against Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), suggesting there is little concrete difference between this American law enforcement agency and the radical Islamic terrorist group the Islamic State (ISIS). Wolf’s mock recruitment video repeated the phrase “ICE IS,” and used ISIS-style imagery to make the connection crystal clear.
“ICE IS rooting out the foreign enemy,” one ICE agent says. “ICE IS terrorizing the invaders,” another declares. “ICE IS blowing up the status quo,” adds a third agent, as he fires a rocket launcher.
“ICE IS waging war for everything that’s holy in this country. I guess you could call it a ‘holy war,'” one man says. Another quips, “ICE IS guaranteeing my ticket to heaven,” as the screen shows him with an automatic rifle in the clouds with girls in American-flag bikinis and crosses in the background — an odd American twist on the Islamic view that those who die fighting in a jihad (or holy war) will go directly to paradise and have 72 virgins.
Perhaps the most insulting part came when Michelle Wolf herself appears, in the guise of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. “It’s popular nowadays to say ICE IS bad, but there’s no better representation of American values than ICE IS,” Wolf says after introducing herself as Nielsen.
As she speaks about ICE as a “representation of American values,” a mock ICE agent takes part in a training exercise, removing a mannequin baby from the arms of a mannequin mother. This event referenced the overblown scandal of ICE separating the children of illegal immigrants from their parents for a time, while prosecuting their parents for breaking the law.
This rather clever reference then gives way to mere ad hominem attacks. Playing Nielsen, Wolf declares, “As an equal opportunity employer, we accept all levels of experience and education, from low to very low, and actively welcome those with diagnosed anger issues.”
Then comes an offensive montage, with the ICE agents describing their backgrounds.
“I wanted to join the regular police, but they told me they didn’t want to take someone who was already under arrest,” one says. “Animal control said nope,” recalls another. “The TSA rejected me cuz I kept asking if there was something called sky jail,” a third explains.
This insinuation — that ICE agents are uneducated and criminally violent — is the exact opposite of the truth. Entry-level ICE agents must have a bachelor’s degree, but “at least one year of graduate study is also required unless you received Superior Academic Achievement (SSA) in your graduate degree.” Huh.
But here’s where it gets really interesting: “ICE agent candidates cannot have been convicted of any felony, nor can they have any conviction for a misdemeanor relating to domestic violence. Applicants who have such criminal records will automatically be denied.”
Let’s go over that again: “Applicants who have such criminal records will automatically be denied.”
Not only is Michelle Wolf’s video offensive, it’s also downright false.
Furthermore, Wolf — who broke into the national consciousness by vigorously attacking White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders — has effectively advocated for more harassment of Trump officials, harassment that has already been directed toward Homeland Security Secretary Nielsen.
Another aside: After many Democrats called for the abolition of ICE, Republicans called their bluff, allowing a bill to abolish ICE to come to the floor of the House of Representatives. Seeing the polls showing Americans favor ICE, Democrats dropped that like it was hot, and instead Republicans passed a bill commending ICE. Not only is Wolf’s offensive video false, it also came after the tide had already turned on the issue.
In an era of increasing incivility, the last thing America needs is “comedians” attacking federal agencies as if they were terrorist organizations. At some point, Netflix will have to say enough is enough. Unfortunately, Wolf’s videos may do well, as outraged Americans mock them.