The head of the union representing Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents slammed President Barack Obama for saying he will push immigration reform once the fiscal crisis is solved.
“The president is in no position to demand Congress pass immigration reform,” Chris Crane, president of the National ICE Council said in a statement Wednesday. “His administration and DHS leadership have undermined ICE’s enforcement mission and put the public safety and national security at risk.”
In an interview with the Los Angeles affiliate of Univision on Tuesday, Obama said immigration reform will be a top priority once Congress reaches agreements on the government shutdown and debt ceiling.
“Once that’s done, you know, the day after, I’m going to be pushing to say, call a vote on immigration reform,” Obama said.
According to Crane — whose union vocally opposed the Senate-passed immigration bill and sued the Obama administration last year for preventing enforcement of immigration law — the president’s policies stand in the way of allowing immigration officers to keep communities safe.
“Officers are currently forced to apply his DREAMer orders to detainees in prisons and jails,” he said. “Aggravated felons, child molesters and other violent criminals are released every day back into communities based on the president’s unlawful policies.”
He further lamented that while ICE officers requested a meeting with Obama eight months ago, they still have yet to meet — even as the president have met with big labor, big business and pro-amnesty activist groups.
“This administration has shown contempt for law enforcement and ICE personnel,” Crane said.
“I hope Democrats and Republicans in the House will reject the calls of the White House and its big business allies seeking to profit from ‘reform’, and make its first priority on immigration to investigate the corruption at [the Department of Homeland Security],” he concluded.
Crane’s criticism of the president comes the same day Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions hammered Obama for his continued push for immigration reform in the wake of a poor job market.
“All over the country, Americans are struggling to find work,” Sessions said. “It is unthinkable that the President would continue to lobby Congress on behalf of special interests in order to double the flow of immigrant workers into the country, as bills in both the House and Senate propose.”
Crane’s union represents about 7,600 ICE officers, agents and support staff.