The president of the labor union for immigration agents said Monday morning that Sen. Marco Rubio “directly misled law enforcement officers” after promising to try to boost interior enforcement in his immigration bill.
“Senator Rubio, who promised ICE officers and Sheriffs that he would take steps to repair the bill’s provisions that gut interior enforcement, has abandoned that commitment. He directly misled law enforcement officers,” said Chris Crane, president of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Council, which represents ICE the agents and officers who handle deportations and immigration laws in the nation’s interior.
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Mr. Crane, along with the president of another immigration union that represents U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services employees and a number of sheriffs across the country signed, a letter to senators arguing that the key to stopping future illegal immigration is to boost workplace enforcement and to let agents deport illegal immigrants they find in the interior.
Over the past few years the Obama administration has carved out certain sections of the illegal immigrant population that it has said cannot be deported.
Now, both sides are arguing over how the new Senate bill will affect that situation. The bill’s authors, including Mr. Rubio, a Florida Republican, say it will prevent a future wave of illegal immigrants, but opponents point to an official government analysis that says it will stop only 25 percent of future illegal immigration.
In a statement Monday, Mr. Crane called for senators to vote against the latest border security proposal that was written Friday afternoon and is being put up for its key test vote Monday evening.
“The 1,200 page substitute bill before the Senate will provide instant legalization and a path to citizenship to gang members and other dangerous criminal aliens, and handcuff ICE officers from enforcing immigration laws in the future,” Mr. Crane said. “It provides no means of effectively enforcing visa overstays which account for almost half of the nation’s illegal immigration crisis.”
Alex Conant, a spokesman for Mr. Rubio, said they appreciated the input they got from law enforcement and said they’ll keep trying to get those ideas added into a final bill.
“We fought to include as many of those ideas as possible in the Corker-Hoeven amendment, and will continue to push for additional ways to strengthen our enforcement laws as the legislation moves through Congress,” Mr. Rubio said.