ICE Receives “Vote of NO Confidence” Is Amnesty Coming?

The union that represents the field agents at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has unanimously passed a “vote of no confidence” for the agency’s leadership, saying ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) has “abandoned” its core mission of protecting the public to support a political agenda favoring amnesty.

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The resolution says that the leadership of ICE had “abandoned the agency’s core mission of enforcing U.S. immigration laws and providing for public safety,” instead it is directing its attention “to campaigning for programs and policies related to amnesty“and the creation of a special detention system for foreign nationals that exceeds the care and services provided to most U.S. citizens similarly incarcerated.

The National Immigration and Customs Enforcement Council of the American Federation of Government Employees represents over 7,000 ICE agents and employees.   With a vote of 259-0 for a resolution saying there was “growing dissatisfaction and concern” over the leadership of Assistant Secretary John Morton, who heads ICE, and Phyllis Coven, assistant director for the agency’s office of detention policy and planning.

“It is the desire of our union … to publicly separate ourselves from the actions of Director Morton and Assistant Director Coven and publicly state that ICE officers and employees do not support Morton or Coven or their misguided and reckless initiatives, which could ultimately put many in America at risk,” the union said.

In a strongly worded statement, the union and its affiliated local councils said the integrity of the agency “as well as the public safety “would be” better provided for in the absence of Director Morton and Assistant Director Coven.” 

More about the Statement:

The statement also noted that:

  • The majority of ICE’s enforcement and removal officers are prohibited from making street arrests or enforcing U.S. immigration laws outside of the jail setting.
  • Hundreds of ICE officers nationwide perform no law enforcement duties whatsoever because of resource mismanagement within the agency.
  • ICE detention reforms have transformed into a detention system aimed at providing resort like living conditions to criminal aliens based on recommendations not from ICE officers and field managers, but from “special-interest groups.”
  • The lack of technical expertise and field experience has resulted in a priority of providing bingo nights, dance lessons and hanging plants to criminals, instead of addressing safe and responsible detention reforms for noncriminal individuals and families.
  • Unlike any other agency in the nation, ICE officers will be prevented from searching detainees housed in ICE facilities, allowing weapons, drugs and other contraband into detention centers — putting detainees, ICE officers and contract guards at risk.
  • Senior leadership ignores reports that ICE internal investigations by the office of professional responsibility conceal agency and supervisor misconduct and are used to retaliate against employees who make whistleblower-type disclosures or question inappropriate policies and procedures.

ICE documents show that during the first nine months of fiscal 2010, a total of 279,035 noncitizens were removed from the U.S. as a result of ICE enforcement.

Union Claims:

According to the union, illegal immigrants now being held in state and local jails seek out ICE agents for deportation to avoid prosecution, conviction and prison terms. They also say criminal aliens “openly brag” that they are taking advantage of a broken immigration system and will be back in the United States within days to commit crimes — while U.S. citizens arrested for the same offenses serve prison sentences.

The no-confidence vote, taken in June and made public last week in a letter by the union, said the agency’s senior leadership dedicated “more time to campaigning for immigration reforms aimed at large-scale amnesty legislation than advising the American public and federal lawmakers on the severity of the illegal-immigration problems.”

What do others say?

Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas, ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee and a member of the House Committee on Homeland Security said that the Obama administration is “simply not serious about enforcing all of our immigration laws.”  He said ICE doesn’t have the resources because it didn’t ask for them, adding that “the Obama administration did not request a single new detention bed in their most recent budget request.”

Rep. Smith claims that the limits on detention capacity that they now claim hold them back from further enforcement are of their own making, he said. ICE is running under its average daily detention capacity and that the Obama administration is not even using all the resources it has.

Michael W. Cutler, a retired 31-year U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) senior criminal investigator and intelligence specialist, said that it is clear that the marching orders coming from the administration have nothing to do with securing our nation’s borders or enforcing the immigration laws.  According to him ”It is an absolute absurdity to believe that our nation can successfully wage a war against terrorists who are determined to enter our nation and then embed themselves in our nation with virtually no fear of being identified, arrested or removed from our country”.

Janice Kephart, director of national security policy at the Center for Immigration Studies, described the no-confidence vote in a statement last week as an example of how ICE’s mission was being “skewed towards supporting an unflinching goal of amnesty by refusing to allow agents to do their job.”

Secretary John Morton, who heads ICE recently announced new guidelines telling his agents to focus on “apprehending terrorists and criminals”, causing many of agency’s rank-and-file agents to wonder who, then, is responsible for tracking down and detaining the millions of other illegal border-crossers and fugitive aliens now in the country.

The new guidelines note that ICE only has resources to remove approximately 400,000 aliens per year, less than 4 percent of the estimated illegal-alien population in the United States, and that as a result, it needed to focus wisely on the limited resources Congress had provided the agency.

He said the agency would prioritize the apprehension and removal of aliens who “only pose a threat to national security and/or public safety, such as criminals and terrorists.”  Lesser priorities were given to foreign nationals caught crossing the border illegally or using phony immigration documents to gain entry, and those identified as fugitives after failing to show up for immigration or deportation hearings.

More on Fox News – Neil Cavuto interviews Director Morton

I watched Neil Cavuto discussing this issue with Director of ICE John Morton today.  It became obvious that Mr. Morton was sticking to his talking points, defending the administrations position, defending all the work ICE has done and denying any fault.  Time and time again, he dodged the question of granting amnesty … simply repeating that he nor the administration support amnesty to “EVERYONE“.   (I don’t think anyone is suggesting it for … “EVERYONE”.)  Neil Cavuto continued to rephrase the question trying to get a straight answer.  Mr. Morton continued to dodge the real question by rephrasing his talking point and not answering the real question.

What do you say???  Papa B.

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