In an exclusive interview with The Daily Caller, the head of the immigration enforcement officers union harshly criticized both Congress and the Obama administration over the “Gang of Eight” immigration bill.
National ICE Council president Chris Crane said the massive bill places little value on the opinions of experienced immigration law enforcement professionals.
In a six-part interview with TheDC, Crane explains how Congress, the Obama administration and the bipartisan group of eight senators who crafted the 867-page bill have shown no willingness to enforce immigration laws and have left ICE unable to do its job.
Instead, Crane says the Senate is taking directions from powerful interest groups. “The AFL-CIO, La Raza and the Chamber of Commerce wrote this,” he says. “Law enforcement officers had absolutely no part in doing this.”
“In our opinion,” Crane says, “and I think we have been pretty outspoken on this from day one, we think that all of this is political, we know it’s political, it’s nothing but political…. I think everybody saw what happened just prior to the last election. We saw President Obama, suddenly, after doing nothing for four years, trying to come out and make these drastic changes.”
“We had people in ICE headquarters telling us that managers were coming out and saying that ‘we’ve got so many days,” he says.
“These are ICE headquarters managers in a law enforcement agency saying ‘We’ve got so many days before the election to get these pro-legalization, pro-amnesty, pro-illegal-immigrant policies out there, and we’ve got to get it done and we’ve got to get it done now.’ I mean they literally had countdowns to the election, to get these policies put in place, these policies that would be publicly favorable during the election period. So we absolutely know that this is all about politics.”
Crane also details how, despite numerous attempts to make their concerns known to the administration and the “Gang of Eight,” law enforcement officials have been cut out of the process. In one instance Crane describes, border sheriffs and law enforcement officers from around the nation came to Washington, only to find their meetings ignored by “Gang of Eight” members.
“We don’t ever come out and say ‘well, you should restrict anybody from being within these discussions,'” Crane says. “But when Congress has illegal aliens come to Congress and testify, and then they bring groups in that represent the interests of illegal aliens to develop our laws, and they exclude American citizen law enforcement officers who work within this broken system everyday, and arguably know more than anybody else about it and how to fix it. They exclude us.”
Crane also spoke about the time police threw him out of a press conference for pressing New York Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer about the bill’s far-reaching effects on law enforcement.
“I put my hand in the air and I said ‘Senator, will you take a question from law enforcement?’ And they just kinda gave me a dirty look. And they answered the question…I politely waited. I didn’t try to talk over them. I did it two or three times and I was escorted out by police. In our own — the house of the people, a Senate office building, as a United States citizen, a Federal law enforcement officer. I did nothing wrong, I talked over no one, and they had police come like I was some kind of criminal and escort me out of the building.
“I had to ask ‘Am I being arrested? Am I being detained?’ They wouldn’t give me answers. They wouldn’t tell me what was happening. They were ordering to come with them. It was really out of control.”
Talking about his experience on Capitol Hill, Crane muses, “The appearance to me is something very dishonest. These folks have an agenda and they don’t want to hear from America, they think that they know better than Americans know… Where is the American part of this Republic now? Where is this ‘By the people, for the people’? There is something, I would describe as very dark, happening here that’s not what Americans want.”