The Twitter account of ICE seems to have been suddenly deactivated and deleted.
Matt Ford, an employee of The New Republic, tweeted on Thursday that the @ICEgov Twitter handle seems to have been disabled. The account’s profile is completely empty: no profile photo, no banner photo, no bio, no tweets.
Currently the page contains a simple message from Twitter saying “This account does not exist”. Previously, the account contained a biography that read: “We focus on preventing terrorism, enforcing immigration policy and fighting cross-border crime”.
The Twitter account of ICE (@ICEgov) seems to have disappeared. pic.twitter.com/rnLQon56xR
– Matt Ford (@fordm) November 12, 2020
What exactly this means is still unclear at the moment. However, opponents of the controversial agency have not wasted any time to draw attention to the sudden disappearance. Some Twitter users began to speculate that @ICEgov was suspended by Twitter itself, and joked that ICE had been removed from the social media platform.
Twitter has abolished @ICEgov. https://t.co/2C0sLs0k2i
– southpaw (@nycsouthpaw) November 12, 2020
ICE seems to have deleted his Twitter account.
I don’t think this is what the left one meant by #AbolishICE” pic.twitter.com/qYWkLpnYtf
– Ford Fischer (@FordFischer) November 12, 2020
Interesting. Apparently @ICEgov was abolished from Twitter. @JoeBiden can you please do the same when you take office?
– Erika Andiola (@ErikaAndiola) November 12, 2020
Today the account, next year the whole agency ð https://t.co/o73kPlvnxA
– ï¸ Never Again Action ï¸ (@NeverAgainActn) November 12, 2020
What happened to the @ICEgov account? pic.twitter.com/k6cUOMipjN
– Jordan Lancaster (@jordylancaster) November 12, 2020
The official ICE website remains up and running, and the biography of the official Twitter account of ICE director, Tony H. Pham, still points users to @ICEgov.
The full name of the government agency is U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. According to the organization’s website, its mission is to “protect America from transnational crime and illegal immigration that threaten national and public security.
Critics of the ICE often call for the abolition of the agency and see it as an arm of the U.S. government that cares little about the human rights of the people it targets. Back in August, lawyers claimed that Muslim prisoners at the Krome Service Processing Center in Miami were served pork despite religious restrictions on their diet.
In addition, a recent whistleblower complaint filed by a nurse in Georgia alleged that prisoners in a facility were denied a COVID 19 test and that an alarming number of hysterectomies were performed on women in ICE custody. In September, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez responded to the news of the complaint on Twitter and wrote: “The fact is that the United States has participated in a program of massive human rights violations against immigrants … Our country must pay for all of this”.
As The Atlanta Journal-Constitution notes, the ICE’s Twitter account previously had more than 459,000 followers and sent over 15,000 tweets.
Washington Newsday turned to ICE for comments and clarifications, but did not return in time for publication. A Twitter representative responded to a request from Washington Newsday for a comment and said that one would be published shortly.
This message is current and will be updated as more information becomes available.