ICE Workers go "Postal"

Earlier this month, ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) workers went “postal” in the Los Angeles office of ICE. One ICE officer shot another three times, and a third ICE officer shot and killed the original shooter. Havoc ensued at the ICE office with smoke, blood and the smell of gunpowder. Did any of this surprise me….no, not at all.

As many people know, ICE agents are gun-toting employees of the Department of Homeland Security. They are well known for arresting undocumented workers and for conducting immigration raids. What many people may not know, is that many employees of Homeland Security (including ICE) don’t like each other and don’t get along. I know this from talking to Homeland Security employees who talk about backstabbing and other unfair employment practices. While the workers ideally would work as a team, they often do not like each other, which impairs their ability to work together. And, as in the case in Los Angeles, when they carry guns, the dislike for one another can escalate to shooting one another.

I currently represent an asylum office employee (within Homeland Security) and he has reported unfair promotions and assignments, and friendships based on national origin, etc within the Miami asylum office. In another case I handled against the U.S. Department of Treasury, I represented a gun-carrying agent who had her gun taken away when the government thought she was mentally unstable.

From my experience meeting with Homeland Security employees, as well as watching how they make arbitrary decisions on immigration cases, it is obvious there is much disharmony and disagreement in their offices. When you add guns to that mixture, it was only a matter of time until someone would go “postal” and shoot their fellow worker with whom they disagreed.


About the author: Bruce Coane is an attorney who specializes in labor and employment law, and, immigration law, with offices in Florida and Texas. He may be reached at, 713-850-0066 or 305-538-6800.