In the midst of a leaked Department of Homeland Security immigration memo that made it to Senator Chuck Grassley, Iowa Republican, outlining ways for the Obama Administration to give amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants, the Center for Immigration Studies yesterday posted a letter that was authored on June 11, 2010 by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Union President Chris Crane titled: “VOTE OF NO CONFIDENCE IN ICE DIRECTOR JOHN MORTON AND ODPP ASSISTANT DIRECTOR PHYLLIS COVEN”:
On June 11, 2010, the National Immigration and Customs Enforcement Council and its constituent local representatives from around the nation, acting on behalf of approximately 7,000 ICE officers and employees from the ICE Office of Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO), cast a unanimous “Vote of No Confidence” in the Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), John Morton, and the Assistant Director of the ICE Office of Detention Policy and Planning, (ODPP), Phyllis Coven.
According to CIS: “The letter, acquired through sources, provides a litany of examples of how ICE’s mission is being skewed towards supporting an unflinching goal of amnesty by refusing to allow agents to do their job; allowing criminal aliens to roam free; depleting resources for key enforcement initiatives that preceded this administration; and misrepresenting facts and programs, demeaning the extent of the criminal alien problem and geared to support amnesty.”
Two bullet points in the letter stick out:
While ICE reports internally that more than 90 percent of ICE detainees are first encountered in jails after they are arrested by local police for criminal charges, ICE senior leadership misrepresents this information publicly in order to portray ICE detainees as being non-criminal in nature to support the Administration’s position on amnesty and relaxed security at ICE detention facilities.
The majority of ICE ERO Officers are prohibited from making street arrests or enforcing United States immigration laws outside of the institutional (jail) setting. This has effectively created “amnesty through policy” for anyone illegally in the United States who has not been arrested by another agency for a criminal violation.
Another disturbing point of the letter is the description of the Obama Administration policy on ICE detention centers that have bingo nights, dance lessons, plant hanging:
ICE Detention Reforms have transformed into a detention system aimed at providing resort like living conditions to criminal aliens. Senior ICE leadership excluded ICE officers and field managers (the technical experts on ICE detention) from the development of these reforms, and instead solicited recommendations from special interest groups. The lack of technical expertise and field expertise has resulted in a priority of providing bingo nights, dance lessons and hanging plants to criminals, instead of addressing safe and responsible detention reforms for non-criminal individuals and families. Unlike any other agency in the nation, ICE officers will be prevented from searching detainees housed in ICE facilities allowing weapons, drugs and other contraband into detention centers putting detainees, ICE officers and contract guards at risk.
Back in July, The Washington Post reported calls for Mr. Morton’s resignation for being lax on immigration. The director of of ICE would only say, that demands that he step down and criticisms is “just part of the territory.”
More to come…