Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) can be brutal government agencies. They trick and mistreat immigrants, all while carrying out this country’s harsh immigration policies. The agencies – and the people who work there – should not be applauded. But this is the year 2019 and anything can happen, including a woman – nicknamed ICE Bae – going viral for being an attractive Latina CBP agent.
During Vice President Mike Pence’s recent visit to the border, Kiara Cervantes was photographed outside of a holding cell. But instead of focusing on the humanity of the people crowded behind her, some focused on Cervantes’ looks.
Using the hashtag #IceBae on social media, her photo quickly went viral. By Monday, Cervantes had started a Twitter account, where she introduced herself. “Just woke up…saw that I needed to make a video so y’all could believe that it’s me,” she said. “It’s me – I’m a Customs officer based in Texas and yeah, I don’t know what else to say.”
In another tweet, she said that she loves “protecting” her country.
Some of her replies explain how this job can take a toll on anyone – not just those who are Latinos – because of the “mass amount of people crossing ILLEGALLY daily and the processing.” She also said later that she is a “very nice person with a big heart.”
And while it’s true that we don’t know her, she has also gone viral – gaining more than 30,000 followers – for a job that is cruel to immigrants. She is contributing to a system that treats people who are fleeing from crime, lack of resources, and more as though they do not deserve rights.
Instead, we need to focus on the lies Pence is telling. After his visit, he said that immigrants told them they “were being treated well.”
BuzzFeed reporter Adolfo Flores easily disproved that with his story, which explained how immigrants were held in “sweltering” cages without access to a shower for more than 40 days.