The removal of the flag of the United States and its replacement with the flag of a foreign nation — the Republic of Mexico — at a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention facility in Aurora, Colorado, on Friday evening sends a powerful message of the disloyalty of some in the open-borders movement to America’s national sovereignty.
In addition to tearing down the U.S. flag and replacing it with that of Mexico’s, protesters spray-painted the words “Abolish ICE” on a Blue Lives Matter flag, then flew it upside down.
The aggressive action against the U.S. flag occurred during what organizers claimed was a non-violent protest against planned arrests nationwide this past weekend of persons who have already been found to be in the nation illegally. Some illegal aliens were being detained in the ICE inside the facility.
President Donald Trump had initially ordered a nationwide round-up of illegal aliens in 10 different cities in late June, but delayed them when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asked for their delay. Trump delayed the raids on the condition that Democrats show some sign of taking the issue of illegal immigration more seriously, but nothing was done during the two-week hiatus.
The 10 cities targeted for the raids originally included New Orleans, but that city was taken off the list because of tropical storm Barry. Other cities included Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, and San Francisco.
Protesters in Aurora planned what they called a peaceful candlelight vigil, but some in the crowd decided to show their disdain for U.S. immigration laws more directly by taking down the flag of the United States and replacing it with the Mexican flag. Police stood by and did nothing while these demonstrators went onto ICE property and removed the U.S. flag. Some local officials in Denver have publicly criticized the enforcement of U.S. immigration laws.
Nicholas Metz, the Aurora police chief, defended the decision of his department to allow the vandalizing of the flag on U.S. government property. “We were ready to act in the event that anybody did anything that was assaultive in any way, or in any way that we felt they were creating any kind of property damage we felt would risk the security of the facility,” Metz explained, arguing that he was concerned that any intervention might escalate the situation.
“It never reached that threshold so we continued to monitor it as close as we could, but I think we made the right decision in that we know, had we moved in like that, the likelihood of people getting injured would have been high.”
Metz also offered another defense of his department’s failure to more robustly defend the facility from the attack. He said that some members of his department met with the officials at the ICE facility long before the attack, and recommended that ICE place a more substantial barrier in front of the facility, but nothing was done.
While Metz’s police officers did nothing during the event to prevent the actions, his department is now asking for any video that might have been taken of the Friday night incident, promising to seek prosecution of those who committed criminal acts. Of course, the police could have taken their own video of the event, but for whatever reason chose not to do so.
After the U.S. flag was removed and replaced by Mexico’s flag, protest organizers decided to call off the vigil, citing safety concerns. One of the organizers, Cristian Solano-Cordova, who is communications manager of the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition, expressed outrage at the actions of what he considered a minority that ruined the event. “It’s really disappointing that a small group of people basically ripped away the mic from our community members. Instead of talking about [the impending raids], we’re talking about these idiots changing a flag. That action doesn’t change anything. It doesn’t protect anyone. In fact, it just put in danger the communities they claim they want to protect.”
Solano-Cordova argued that the actions of the those who took down the American flag were “inadvertently sabotaging the work we’ve been doing for years.”
It is not an uncommon tactic for persons in the extreme Left to use grievances, real or imagined, to advance their cause. As an example, when veterans of the First World War descended upon Washington, D.C. in the summer of 1932 to demand that Congress give them their war “bonus” money several years earlier than the planned date of 1945, Communist Party members circulated among the crowds in an attempt to create a violent incident that could advance their leftist cause.
In this case, while Solano-Cordova and others may very well have been simply peacefully protesting for better treatment of illegal aliens, or even the abandonment of the enforcement of all immigration laws, it provided an opportunity for radicals to promote their own agenda. By taking down the flag of the United States and replacing it with the flag of Mexico, they are making a statement that they do not regard America as the rightful sovereign in Colorado and many other locations inside the United States.
And, whatever the motivations of Solano-Cordova and his peaceful group of protesters may be, the continued call to not enforce our immigration laws will eventually arrive at the same place as the goals of those who took down the U.S. flag in favor of another country’s flag — the end of America’s status, for all practical purposes, as a nation with recognizable borders.