Chris Crane, president of the National Immigration and Customs Enforcement Council 118, made a number of stunning revelations during his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday — and he’s begging Congress for help. The ICE union boss argued that agents are no longer allowed to arrest illegal aliens solely for illegal entry or expired visas and morale is at an all-time low.
Most Americans would be shocked to find out that immigration agents are regularly “prohibited from enforcing the two most fundamental sections of United States immigration law,” he said. Instead, the administration has ordered that only illegals charged or convicted of “very serious criminal offenses” may be arrested or charged by ICE agents and officers.
“In fact, under current policy individuals legally in the United States must now be convicted of 3 or more criminal misdemeanors before ICE agents are permitted to charge or arrest the illegal alien for illegal entry or overstaying a visa,” he added. That is unless the misdemeanors involve assault, sexual abuse or drug trafficking.
Even more shocking, Crane said ICE agents or officers who witness a violation of immigration law are prohibited from making arrests and even from asking questions “under the threat of disciplinary action.”
Citing a recent morale survey disseminated throughout federal agencies, Crane said ICE ranks 279 out of 291 in employee morale and job satisfaction. He has previously asked the Obama administration to help address the plummeting morale and dissatisfaction among ICE agents.
Meanwhile, the Obama administration is continually making it nearly impossible for agents to enforce federal immigration law because they allow special interests groups to influence policy, Crane explained.
“The day-to day duties of ICE agents and officers often seem in conflict with the law as ICE officers are prohibited from enforcing many laws enacted by Congress; laws they took an oath to enforce,” he said. “ICE is now guided in large part by influences of powerful special interest groups that advocate on behalf of illegal aliens.”
Crane continued: “These influences have in large part eroded the order, stability and effectiveness of the agency, creating confusion among ICE employees. For the last four years it has been a roller coaster for ICE officers with regard to who they can or cannot arrest, and which federal laws they will be permitted to enforce. Most of these directives restricting enforcement are given only verbally to prevent written evidence from reaching the public.”
All of these restrictions being placed on ICE employees has put them in increased danger and the agency has seen assaults against ICE officers and agents continue to rise as “ICE arrestees become increasingly more violent and criminal in nature.”
You may be surprised to know that ICE agents are also prohibited from carrying life saving protective equipment like Tasers while on duty. Crane said ICE won’t approve the equipment due to “political reasons.”
“Death or serious injury to ICE officers and agents appears more acceptable to ICE, DHS and administration leadership than the public complaints that would be lodged by special interest groups,” he added.
Crane closed with this:
“In closing, while deeply concerned by the actions of our agency, as well as the current state and future of immigration enforcement, we are optimistic that all of these matters can be resolved with the assistance of members of Congress.
Only time will tell if lawmakers will answer the repeated pleas for help. Nearly a dozen immigration agents have sued the Obama administration for the right to enforce immigration law.
Just as a side note, despite being AFL-CIO affiliates, the union representing ICE agents has been shunned by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumpka and shut out of the development of immigration policy with the union and the Obama administration. The ICE agents union reportedly made multiple attempts to contact Trumpka’s top advisors to resolve the situation but have been ignored.
Read Crane’s complete testimony below: