An illegal immigrant activist and self-described “anti-fascist” was deported to Mexico after tweeting out violent threats.
Sergio Salazar, a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipient and member of the Occupy ICE movement, was apprehended by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents last year, The Intercept reported.
ICE had been monitoring Salazar for weeks and arrested him the day after his DACA protection expired in August of 2018.
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Salazar was sent back to Mexico in September of last year after an ultimately fruitless attempt to stave off his deportation order in immigration court.
A string of government agencies investigated Salazar after he made threats against law enforcement on social media.
“[L]et’s hope tomorrow is the day we start we start burning cop cars, preferably with cops inside,” said in one tweet.
An ICE attorney said during a court hearing that same month that Salazar had “incited violence.”
The Intercept’s profile is largely sympathetic, painting Salazar as an earnest resister caught up in the Trump administration’s hardline crackdown.
According to Salazar, he was in the process of working with a lawyer to get his DACA protection renewed when he was arrested.
Salazar told The Intercept he feels he was targeted because of his political opposition to ICE and the Trump administration’s policies.
“As someone who was undocumented,” he told the left-wing outlet. “I wouldn’t just see, but I would feel this constant threat against me, a threat of violence from the so-called United States to be deported. I felt the violence of not being able to cross the border to visit where I’m from, to visit for holidays.”
The 18-year-old activist’s evidence packet labeled him “as a member of antifa or anarchist extremist,” Salazar said, a claim he doesn’t wholly deny.
“I’m not ashamed to say that my beliefs are anarchist and I am an anti-fascist,” he told The Intercept.
Salazar blames the FBI and ICE, which he called “two very bloated, fascist United States institutions,” for making him “look like a bad person.”
But some might argue Salazar’s troubles are of his own making.
From March to June of last year, Salazar made a series of incendiary tweets that attracted authorities’ attention.
The Intercept catalogues a sampling of the messages:
“lets set some sh-t on fire and throw molotovs at the pigs im so done with today”; “pick up the guns, put the pigs on the run” (a reference to an old Black Panther chant); “let’s hope tomorrow is the day we start we start burning cop cars, preferably with cops inside”; “dead cops are a good thing”; “this mornings mood is wanting to kill a homophobe”; and “I am not a member of MS-13! Im part of something much more dangerous we’ve got molotovs and we know who the real enemy is.”
Salazar told The Intercept he was surprised when his attorneys brought up the tweets before his hearing in immigration court.
“I knew I’d said dumb sh– before, but I didn’t remember it. It was just stuff I tweeted and forgot about it,” he said.
During the hearing, immigration attorneys presented evidence showing one of the people who had visited Salazar in detention claiming to have “put a big f—ing hole” in a guard’s truck.
However, Salazar denies committing any offense. According to him, it is the United States that is guilty of violence for deporting him.
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“I didn’t choose to be in detention. I didn’t choose to be undocumented. I didn’t commit any offense. And I was forcefully torn away. I was put in handcuffs, dragged into a truck, locked up. That is violence,” he told The Intercept.