Tim Robbins ICE
© REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/Mike Segar
ICE officers in Paramount, California/Tim Robbins at Bernie Sanders rally in Hanover, New Hampshire
'Shawshank Redemption' star Tim Robbins has compared US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to Nazis, and claimed the agency's goal is to target people of color and give America an "ethnic cleansing."

"ICE are massively funded, militarized police whose function is to deport people of color. Ethnic cleansing in America," tweeted the actor in reaction to a story about President Donald Trump designating ICE a "security agency" in an effort to protect the identities of its employees.

"Now they are a massively funded, militarized SECRET police (SS) that don't have to identify themselves or answer to anyone. What could go wrong?" according to Robbins.

The SS — or Schutzstaffel — was a powerful paramilitary group in the Nazi Germany, which was responsible for the genocide of the Jewish population, among other things.

While Robbins has been vocal about his opinions, and politically involved for years - he campaigned for Bernie Sanders - his claims might shoot a bit over the top.

ICE employees have been the target of doxxing in recent years, as the debate over immigration in the US has heated up. More than 1,600 workers had their names and photos tweeted out by a number of liberal activists in 2018. The new classification of ICE is expected to halt such attempts to publicly identify employees in the future.

However, the agency has been embroiled in a number of controversies that has led it to be a target of both immigration activists and Democrats.

Among other things, it has been accused of inhumane treatment of detained children of illegal immigrants. Congressional Democrats have called on the ICE to act with "compassion" and release all detained families in light of the coronavirus health crisis.

Robbins has grown increasingly extreme in his political tweets during the Covid-19 pandemic. In a swiftly deleted April tweet criticizing the mooted possibility of ending various economic lockdowns, the actor blasted the US as a "death cult" and anti-lockdown activists as "racist self-interested citizens."