During last week’s House Judiciary Committee hearing (I blogged about it here) that addressed President Obama’s backdoor administrative amnesty, two panels appeared as witnesses. The first panel consisted of one man only: Immigration Customs and Enforcement Director John Morton. The second included Chris Crane, the president of the National Immigration Customs and Enforcement Council, the ICE union that represents 7,200 employees primarily engaged in removal operations.
Crane’s experience includes extensive involvement in the Criminal Alien Program that targets criminals who were originally identified by local law enforcement.
Throughout his testimony, Crane reiterated his members’ deep dissatisfaction with Morton. On June 25, 2010, the ICE membership issued a vote of no confidence in Morton.
According to Crane, dating back to the INS legacy agency, at no time has membership ever expressed such public disgust with its leadership. Among the other faults Crane addressed on behalf of “thousands of men and women who work at ICE” were:
"…gross mismanagement and matters of public safety; [a] warning that ICE and DHS are misleading the public."
Crane reminded the committee that ICE employees took their personal vacation time to picket the agency to protest its ineffectiveness and deceitful management.
In a particularly chilling statement, Crane said:
"Law enforcement and public safety are no longer the priorities at ICE; the priorities are politics."
As for the prosecutorial discretion memo that Morton issued this summer, Crane summarized the policy:
"…[It] cannot be effectively applied in the field and has the potential to either completely overwhelm ICE’s limited manpower resources or result in the indiscriminate and large scale release of aliens encountered in all ICE operations…."
In conclusion, Crane predicted that:
"…It is the opinion of ICE officers and agents in the field that the administration’s policies will lead to victimization and death within the United States that was otherwise preventable."
Read Crane’s entire testimony here.