The head of the union representing Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers and staff issued a harsh rebuke to President Obama for having illegal immigrants in the chamber during his State of the Union address.
“According to news accounts, the President has once again invited illegal immigrants to the State of the Union — and yet the President still refuses to meet with ICE officers,” National ICE Council head and ICE officer Chris Crane in a statement. “We have a President who will provide those illegally in the US with the seat of honor at one of the most important events of the year, but ICE officers who serve under him are unwelcome in the White House.”
The White House announced this week that Cristian Avila, a 23-year-old undocumented immigrant who received protection against deportation through Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), would be attending the State of the Union as a guest in the first lady’s box during the State of the Union.
In addition to Avila, several Democratic lawmakers are also bringing undocumented immigrants as their guests to the event.
Crane, who has been a vocal critic of the president’s immigration policies and recent immigration reform efforts in Congress, reiterated his concerns about Obama’s “continued demonstration of contempt for immigration officers and his blatant disregard for Congressionally-enacted law.”
“ICE officers are forced every day to release violent offenders back into the streets; we are prohibited from enforcing immigration violations and document fraud and from cracking down on illegal employment; we are prohibited from enforcing public charge law to protect taxpayers; and we are forced to catch-and-release illegal aliens who are not ‘priorities’ even when officers’ believe there is a threat to public safety,” he said.
And while Crane’s beef has largely been with the Senate immigration bill and the White House in recent years and months, he took a shot at House Republicans toward the end of his statement, saying he has been “shocked” to hear that they have been working with “amnesty proponents instead” of ICE officers.
“Any immigration principles crafted by House Republicans should be crafted in consultation with the ICE personnel who know firsthand what is wrong with our immigration system and how to fix it,” he said, going on to urge Republicans to work with him and his union.