Politics

ICE union head on immigration reform: ‘Zero confidence any promises of future enforcement will be fulfilled’

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Caroline May
Political Reporter

The head of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent union says that he has no confidence that the Obama administration would step up its border control efforts as part of any immigration reform agreement.

Chris Crane, ICE officer and National ICE Council president representing 7,000 ICE agents, officers, and employees, expressed concern in a statement issued Friday that the “the immigration bill being crafted behind closed doors” by the bipartisan “gang of eight” senators “will be rushed to passage without proper public consideration and proper input from the law enforcement community.”

According to Crane, while big businesses and advocacy groups have been given a seat at the table by the White House and at “other secret meetings,” the ICE union has been left out of the conversation.

He added that ICE’s “politically appointed leaders” — Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and ICE Director John Morton — “do not speak for us when it comes to enforcing the law” and that the pair have “repeatedly undermined the ability of our officers to enforce and protect the public safety.”

“A mass legalization, or amnesty, of millions of illegal aliens, combined with an increase in future immigration, will have profound consequences for every law enforcement officer in the country and especially those who enforce our nation’s immigration laws,” Crane said. “But we have been shut out of the process.”

“[G]iven the administration’s current enforcement record, I have zero confidence any promises of future enforcement will be fulfilled,” he added.

Crane went on to express gratitude to the six GOP committee members who petitioned Leahy last week for a “fair and open process.”

The letter to Leahy — sent on March 19 by Sens. Chuck Grassley, Jeff Sessions, Orrin Hatch, Mike Lee, John Cornyn and Ted Cruz — called on the judiciary committee chairman to schedule hearings on the forthcoming immigration bill.

“We respectfully request that the public be given adequate time, consistent with past practice in handling complex comprehensive immigration legislation, to read and analyze the contents of the any such bill” the letter read in part.

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