Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) has called for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director John Morton to resign, saying there can be no comprehensive immigration reform as long as he’s the person in charge. In 2010, 7000 ICE agents stepped forward and cast a vote of ‘No Confidence’ in John Morton. In September 2012 75,000 ICE agents signed a petition protesting the Obama administration’s policy of “prosecutorial discretion,” meaning if you are in the U.S. illegally, you can stay if you meet Obama’s “Presidential Priority” requirements and you will be released back into the community of legal citizenry. Ten agents sued in October 2012 and yesterday a Judge ruled the agents have standing to continue with their suit to overturn the “Morton Memo” on “prosecutorial discretion and the DREAM directive on deferred action.
Mr. Morton can no longer effectively serve at this post, and perhaps more importantly there can be no comprehensive immigration reform as long as he’s the person in charge with enforcing it,” Sessions said, explaining that Morton and the Obama administration have failed to enforce current immigration law.
“What purpose is served to pass new laws if the ones we have are ignored by the officials charged with enforcing them,” he added.
According to Sessions and a timeline he submitted to the Congressional Record detailing Morton and the administration’s actions to dilute current law, the current ICE director is unfit to continue at his post.
“It’s well documented that the Obama administration has either unilaterally weakened or outright waived the enforcement at the border, at the — in the interior and at the work site and at the welfare office of existing immigration laws,” Sessions explained. “That’s just a fact.” Source: Daily Caller
As I remarked in a post which included the press release below, nowhere in the announcement of a vote of ‘no confidence’ did the ICE agents use the word “immigration,” as they know there is no such thing as “illegal immigration,” there are only illegal aliens.” Here are two pullout quotes to demonstrate what these agents go through every day:
“The lack of technical expertise and field experience has resulted in a priority of providing bingo nights, dance lessons and hanging plants to criminals, instead of addressing safe and responsible detention reforms…”
“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.”
This action reflects the growing dissatisfaction and concern among ICE employees and Union leaders that Director John Morton and Assistant Director Phyllis Coven have abandoned the Agency’s core mission of enforcing United States Immigration Laws and providing for public safety, and have instead directed their attention to campaigning for programs and policies related to amnesty and the creation of a special detention system for foreign nationals that exceeds the care and services provided to most United States citizens similarly incarcerated.
It is the desire of our union within ICE and our employees to publicly separate ourselves from the actions of Director Morton and Assistant Director Coven and publicly state that ICE officers and employees do not support Morton or Coven, or their misguided and reckless initiatives, which could ultimately put many in America at risk.
The following are the items of concern listed in the press release. I have numbered them. The original uses a bullet that doesn’t function well with my blog template:
(1) Senior ICE leadership dedicates more time to campaigning for immigration reforms aimed at large scale amnesty legislation, than advising the American public and Federal lawmakers on the severity of the illegal immigration problem, and the need for more manpower and resources within ICE ERO to address it. ICE ERO is currently overwhelmed by the massive criminal alien problem in the U.S. resulting in the large-scale release of criminals back into local communities.
(2) Criminal aliens incarcerated in local jails seek out ICE officers and volunteer for deportation to avoid prosecution, conviction and serving prison sentences. Criminal aliens openly brag to ICE officers that they are taking advantage of the broken immigration system and will be back in the U.S. within days to commit crimes, while U.S. citizens arrested for the same offenses serve prison sentences. State and local law enforcement, prosecutors and jails are equally overwhelmed by the criminal alien problem and lack the resources to prosecute and house these prisoners, resulting in the release of criminal aliens back into local communities before making contact with ICE. ICE senior leadership is aware that the system is broken, yet refuses to alert Congress to the severity of the situation and request additional resources to provide better enforcement and support of local agencies.
(3) ICE is misleading the American public with regard to the effectiveness of criminal enforcement programs like the ICE “Secure Communities Program” using it as a selling point to move forward with amnesty related legislation. As officers in the field, we know this program will not improve enforcement or provide for public safety because ICE refuses, for political reasons, to request the additional manpower and resources needed to adequately operate the program.
(4) 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 U.S. who has not been arrested by another agency for a criminal violation.
(5) With only a handful of officers nationwide authorized to enforce U.S. immigration laws, and demand for these officers higher than ever before, hundreds of ICE officers nationwide perform no law enforcement duties whatsoever because of resource mismanagement within the Agency. The remaining ICE officers who do perform enforcement functions spend a majority of their time performing non-law enforcement duties because ICE ERO lacks the support staff to perform related support functions.
(6) 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 experience 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.
(7) ICE has virtually no consistent national policies. As a result, the Agency lacks adequate direction and managerial infrastructure. Operations suffer, accountability is nonexistent, and ICE is unable to perform at its potential.
(8) Senior leadership ignores reports that ICE internal investigations conducted under the auspices of the ICE Office of Professional Responsibility conceal Agency and supervisor misconduct and are used to retaliate against employees who make whistleblower type disclosures or question inappropriate policies and procedures.
It is our sincere belief that the integrity of the Agency as well as public safety ill be better provided for in the absence of Director Morton and Assistant Director Coven.
In his 35-page decision, Judge O’Conner found that the ICE agents and officers have standing, but that the State of Mississippi does not. He has not yet ruled, however, on the agents’ motion for a preliminary injunction to halt implementation of the DHS directives.
The primary impetus for the lawsuit came last June, when Secretary Napolitano issued a memo offering deferred action and employment authorization to illegal aliens under age 31 who meet certain criteria similar to those outlined in the DREAM Act, which has failed to pass Congress on three occasions.
Even before that, though, ICE Director John Morton essentially gutted immigration enforcement by issuing a memo on prosecutorial discretion that, in effect, prohibits ICE agents and officers from arresting or removing any but the most violent criminal aliens. Under Morton’s stated policy, most of the 12 million or so illegal aliens that the administration wants to legalize are currently safe from deportation.
Senator Sessions is right. It is impossible any Obama appointee to view illegal aliens as illegal. It won’t happen. Following the Rule of Law does not happen in this administration. Someone in power must give these agents a helping hand. Senator Sessions is trying.