Freedom isn’t free—we all know that—but as it turns out, unfreedom is sort of free. Have you ever dreamed of being picked up by The Department of Homeland Security, shackled, transported between prison complexes in undisclosed locations throughout the country, and eventually sent somewhere exotic like Tijuana, Mexicali, or even Colombia? Follow these easy steps and you’ll be well on your way to sucking down watered down drinks on a beach trying to forget the automatic weapons that were pointed at your face; your celly Purcell, and the things he made you do; and the place you’d started to think of as home.
1. Being brown is not necessary, but it will help. It is almost necessary. (Let’s call it “pseudo-determinant.”) If you are not brown there are several things you can do: tan, spray tan, or enjoy your quickly narrowing civil liberties as you staycation in your backyard. Drink some fucking Arbor Mist. Eat something with margarine on it. If you need to, double up on your meds.
2. Do not carry any form of identification on your person.
3. In addition to calling racial profiling an “important component” of law enforcement, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) lists “what kind of shoes people wear” as a key factor in targeting undocumented human beings. He calls these “common sense indicators.” So specific clothing is also pseudo-determinant. For best results use your fucking common sense: be brown, wear well-worn work boots, and if you are a man, grow a robust moustache. If you are a woman also cultivate a healthy tuft of upper lip whiskers, and perhaps tie your long black hair back into a thick braid. Look like you have just gotten off work, are going to work, or have just gotten off work and are on your way to more work. In this historical moment, to achieve a “free” international vacation, the superstructure calls for Mexican Worker Chic.
4. If you are very very brown, or can’t quite tan, in addition to the Mexican Worker Chic look you can try a Latin American accent. Whatever your conception of this may be will probably be good enough. Think Speedy Gonzales.
5. You will need to be picked up by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Depending on what state you are in, this can be as easy as taking a shower in your own home, rolling through a stop sign, or sitting in your living room. Remember: anyone can be picked up by ICE, even a child!
6. You will have to be shackled and held in detainment for an unspecified amount of time: maybe a day, maybe a year. Who knows? And since you’ll be a federal detainee your vacation will begin early as ICE moves you from facility to facility all over the country. Luckily you will not have access to a public defender during this period: no one to fuck up your cross-country tour of detention centers, many of which are privatized. Your pesky relatives won’t be able to bother you either because ICE appreciates your need to “get away,” so when they call to inquire about your location they will get an answer several days later, at which time you will be enjoying two square meals of green bologna somewhere else.
7. If and when you are presented with documents to initiate your deportation/international vacation, do a celebratory dance, but only if circumstances allow. If you think the celebratory dance will anger your cellmate, whom you may have learned is violent, a sex offender, or a violent sex offender, then perhaps refrain, unless you’re into that kind of thing: in which case the dancing and ensuing violent sex would only sweeten the deal. Dance. Sign the papers. Dance again. Ever been on a plane? If you’re lucky, you’ll need to hold on to your sombrero, and then remove it and put it through the x-ray machine at the airport where you’ll either be escorted on a commercial flight, or placed on a US Government plane used for group deportations. On the plane you’ll enjoy a complimentary fuck you, and once off the plane, a swift kick to your brown brown ass.