Immigration anyone? I never write about it, but lots of people are talking about it these days.
Since 9/11, “Homeland Security” is supposed to take care of immigration, in the form of an outfit known as Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”).
I guess there must not be an immigration or customs or border problem. Because I just read about a massive Homeland Security raid on a website which is accused of facilitating gay escort hookups. It is called Rentboy.com, and activists are screaming about discrimination:
“To many in our community this feels like a throwback to when the police raided gay bars in the ’50s and ’60s,” Justin Vivian Bond, a performer and an activist who is transgender, wrote in an email. “This invasion of a consensual hookup site which is run for and by members of the L.G.B.T. community feels like a real slap in the face after gentrification and the Giuliani and Bloomberg administrations drove so many gay bars out of business and forced people to meet online instead of in person,” the activist added, referring to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
Danny Cruz said he had posted ads on Rentboy “to supplement income” for about seven years, starting when he moved to New York. He said he had talked regularly to the executives who were arrested, both about his business and about staying safe.
“I don’t see why the government would be interested in what two people do behind closed doors,” Mr. Cruz, who is now involved in the Sex Workers Outreach Project in Los Angeles, said.
Khaalid Walls, a spokesman for the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which participated in the investigation, said in an email that “any insinuation that a specific population was targeted is categorically false.”
The federal complaint says that although Rentboy.com, whose headquarters are on 14th Street at Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, had a disclaimer telling visitors that they could not exchange money for sex, that was “clearly” happening. Escorts, the complaint says, posted ads including penis size, pay rate and preferred fetishes, and the site’s visitors then contacted them directly. On a separate website, DaddysReviews.com, clients would review the individual escorts, the complaint says.
The seven current and former Rentboy executives were charged with conspiring to violate the Travel Act by promoting prostitution, and each faces up to five years in prison.
Mr. Walls said: “As the investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security, ICE is responsible for the enforcement of laws that promote the legitimate movement of people, goods and currency in domestic and foreign transactions. Our allegation with this case is that the business and its principals purported itself to be an escort service while promoting criminal acts, namely illegal prostitution.”
OK, regardless of what anyone thinks about prostitution (male or female), what in blazes does it have to do with HOMELAND SECURITY?
What galls me the most about the activists is that none of the bloody fools even seem to be questioning the idea that the federal government should be in the vice squad business, much less an agency that was given vast powers to go after terrorism.
Since when are gay escorts and their clients engaged in terrorism?
Unless this outfit was funneling money to ISIS or AL Qaeda, I am not getting it.