A photograph of a female border patrol officer – who has been dubbed #IceBae – went viral this week, inspiring praise and backlash that highlight a deep national divide on the topic of immigration.
Kiara Cervantes, 26, was providing security for Vice President Mike Pence’s recent border visit when the viral image was snapped. Many social media users commented positively on the border patrol officer’s appearance. One conservative commentator, for instance, referred to Cervantes as a “babe.”
Respectfully, you are a babe! Praying for safety down there at the border and keep up the good work my young sista!
— ? Wayne Dupree ? (@WayneDupreeShow) July 16, 2019
The New York Post reported that Cervantes is a registered Democrat from Texas.
But her apparent sympathies for left-leaning politics haven’t stopped fellow liberals from vehemently criticizing the Latina Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer.
In a since-deleted Sunday tweet, Cervantes responded to a social media user who said her family would disown her and that it was shameful for “any Hispanic” to be working for ICE.
“I think that’s really rude and naive of you to say,” she said. “You have no idea who my parents are and no idea what goes into my job on a daily basis… before speaking on something you know nothing about…. DONT. Regardless I’m blessed and thankful for the career I have.”
Other liberals were even more scathingly critical. Many Twitter users responded to a tweet from an account that purportedly belongs to Cervantes by calling her a “nazi.”
It was an honor for the SS to take the Nazi leaders on tours of their concentration camps too.
Just doing your job doesn’t excuse you when you wind up at the Hague
— m-TEA-Van-damned ???️??? (@mtvandamme1) July 16, 2019
“Practiced your N4zi salute in the mirror?” wrote one commenter.
Another went with a visual reference to Nazi-era Germany:
“We were just doing our job!” pic.twitter.com/na7kRkTnhj
— ?? P A L M ? S C U Z Z ?? (@OfficialCheese6) July 15, 2019
#IceBae gets caught in the middle of a fiery national conversation
Cervantes’ newfound virality comes amid a heated debate over immigration, specifically regarding how President Donald Trump’s administration has treated migrants detained at the border.
Much of the criticism lobbed at Cervantes echoed remarks made by prominent Democrat politicians in recent weeks, particularly rhetoric used by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
The progressive New York Democrat has compared U.S. migrant detention centers to Nazi concentration camps and warned that the United States is undoubtedly “headed for authoritarianism.”
Prominent liberals have followed Ocasio-Cortez’s lead.
Actress and liberal activist Alyssa Milano on Saturday compared the Trump administration to the Third Reich. With no commentary other than a photo credit, Milano tweeted a photograph of Nazi leader Heinrich Himmler, an architect of the Holocaust, touring a Soviet POW camp in 1941 on top of a photo of the vice president inspecting the conditions at a migrant detention facility in McAllen, Texas.
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