During a Wednesday afternoon conference call, ICE agents union head Chris Crane hammered the so-called Gang of Eight and the Obama administration for supposedly failing to focus on enforcing immigration laws.
“The plan of the Gang of Eight appears to be legalization, or amnesty first, and then enforcement. That is a big problem for us,” Crane told reporters, noting that none of the immigration plans laid out so far has offered a framework for “stronger interior enforcement.”
He charged that those currently considering immigration reform are more focused on legalization than addressing illegal immigration.
The National ICE Council, Crane’s union of more than 7,000 ICE officers and staff, has been calling on the White House and the Gang of Eight to hear their concerns about immigration reform and the need for a focus on enforcement first.
Their requests for a meeting from both players have gone unanswered.
Crane explained that while his union is open to new ideas, history has shown that without a priority on enforcement of the law, problems will persist.
“If we don’t take care of the enforcement part of this first, it will never happen. The only thing that will happen will be that 11 million illegal aliens will be legalized, and 10 to 20 years from now the nation will again be facing the influx of another 10-20 million illegal aliens,” he said. “And all the problems and expenses associated with that we will be right back to where we are right now, with a failed immigration system.”
The ICE union president went on to point out that enforcement has fallen by the wayside due to political decisions that have been more forceful than the laws Congress has enacted.
“Our officers cannot enforce the laws on the street, because of politics,” Crane said. “ICE officers are now almost exclusively restricted to making immigration arrests inside of jails and prisons. So someone else has to arrest the illegal alien, another agency or police officer has to arrest the illegal alien first for criminal charges before an ICE agent can even attempt to enforce U.S. immigration law or make an immigration arrest.”