ABC’s fire and rescue drama Station 19 smeared America’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents by comparing those law enforcement officials to Nazis in its latest episode.
The episode, entitled “No Days Off,” features a restaurant chef punishing an errant employee by calling ICE on the man who, it turns out, is an illegal alien. As it happens, one of the series’ recurring characters, Seattle Fire Department Battalion Chief Robert Sullivan (Boris Kodjoe), is in the restaurant when a small stove-top fire breaks out.
While checking on the fire in the kitchen, Chief Sullivan overhears that the employee faces arrest by ICE. Upon returning to his table, Sullivan puts on his woke hat and begins ripping America’s immigration policies.
Sullivan begins accusing ICE of being Nazis as Captain Pruitt Herrera (Miguel Sandoval) rebukes the characterization. A third character, Herrera’s daughter Andy (Jaina Lee Ortiz), also piles on to criticize ICE.
“He threatened to call ICE? Well, that’s low,” Andy replies after Chief Sullivan relates the scene he saw in the kitchen. Andy even “corrects” her father for saying the employee is an illegal alien. “The word is ‘Undocumented,’ Dad,” she scolds.
The chief and Capt. Pruitt begin to argue about the propriety of immigration policy, and Pruitt claims that ICE sometimes “goes too far,” but for the most part, they are just doing their job, he says. That is when Sullivan starts throwing around the Nazi label.
“Right. Like Nazis did their jobs,” Sullivan replies.
Pruitt strikes back, saying, “Either way, ‘Nazis’ is a false equivalence, and it minimizes the atrocities of World War II.”
Sullivan grants that point but goes on to tell the story of his grandfather, a Nazi who fought for the Germans in WWII, a man whom he could never accept because of his Nazi past.
This grandfather explained away his fighting in the war, telling Sullivan that “Sometimes a nation in crisis needs the patriot who does the unspeakable.”
With that hint that Sullivan was equating U.S. immigration law enforcement officers to Nazis, the chief went on a rant comparing ICE to Nazis despite seconds earlier saying it was a “false equivalence.”
No, he was right. That day, I started to hate him. Six more years, I lived in that house. I never spoke to him again. See, the Gestapo, the Geheime Staatspolizei, the secret state police, were legitimate law enforcement for Nazis. They were government employees, storming into homes, into schools, into restaurants, ripping parents from their children, ripping husbands from their wives, and then shipping them off to detention centers. People think what happened in Germany could never happen here. There have been multiple reports of sexual abuse on women and children by guards in our detention centers right here. And we just scroll through those reports and shake our heads and do nothing. If we do nothing when we see our fellow human beings, our neighbors, being abused, detained… What happens next?
So, ICE is equated to the Gestapo and the Staatspollzei, and Donald Trump is little different than Hitler, the man who ordered those agencies to act.
Sullivan then goes to intercede between ICE and the illegal alien employee they are there to detain. The chief claims the employee was injured in the fire and whisks him out of the hands of the immigration officials. Naturally, once the employee gets to the ambulance, he evades ICE and is allowed to go free.