ICE Union President Courageously Fights Back against Prosecutorial Discretion

Published on January 19th, 2012

Here’s a welcome bit of good news out of Washington, D.C., normally America’s bad news capitol. National ICE Council union president Chris Crane has issued orders to his 7,000 strong membership that they will not be allowed to participate in training classes that the administration has developed to “educate” officers in the new prosecutorial discretion (aka administrative amnesty) guidelines.

You read that correctly. John Morton, ICE director, has instituted training classes to coerce agents into complying with the Obama administration’s new immigration policy which allegedly will focus on deporting criminals but also allow most other classifications of aliens to be removed from deportation proceedings.

Typically, the seminars include slide shows and chalk talks on dozens of hypothetical immigration cases that challenge officers to decide which aliens should be deported under the relaxed standards. Agents are asked to focus on the worst offenders including criminal convicts, gang members and aliens who return after previously having been expelled. Other groups of illegal immigrants — the elderly, children under 18, military veterans, “DREAMing” college students and parents of citizen anchor baby children — are low priorities who, under the new directive, should be allowed to stay.

Actual training example: An alien has been living in the United States since 1996 when he crossed the Southwest border illegally. At the time, he failed to appear for a crucial immigration court hearing. But he has no criminal record and coaches soccer at the school where his twin daughters, both citizens, are enrolled.

Desired response Close his case.

Other examples are similarly stacked in favor of the immigrant. ICE makes the distinction that “closed” cases are not cancelled and can therefore be reopened at any time.

Prior to Obama’s backdoor amnesty, all of the approximately 12 million aliens would be deportable whether or not they coached their kids’ soccer team.

As a result of Crane’s refusal to play ball, enforcement officers missed the January 13 cutoff by which time their training was to have been completed.

DHS officials claim that it is essential to bring all enforcement officers up to speed in the interests of deporting hardened criminals.

Crane’s courageous stand represents a major setback for comprehensive immigration reform advocates including most of all President Obama.

According to the New York Times:

“The training course is the clearest sign yet that administration officials want to transform the way immigration officers work, asking them to make nuanced decisions to speed deportations of high-risk offenders while halting those of illegal immigrants with clean records and strong ties to the country. The policy is President Obama’s most ambitious immigration initiative before the November elections, senior administration officials said.” [Agents’ Union Stalls Training on Deportation Orders, by Julia Preston, New York Times, January 8, 2012]

Crane, a fierce critic of the revamped deportation process, stated in Congressional testimony that Morton’s training sessions amount to orders from ICE officials to agents not to enforce the law. Earlier, Crane accused the White House of tailoring its enforcement practices to win support from the Hispanic lobby for Obama’s re-election.

In October, Crane told a House Judiciary subcommittee that:

“Law enforcement and public safety have taken a back seat to attempts to satisfy immigrant advocacy groups.” (Read my blog about it here; Crane’s complete statement is here.)

Supposedly, pro-immigration groups are angry at the president for his failure to deliver the comprehensive immigration reform he promised during his campaign.

With so few on Capitol Hill willing to speak out against immigration abuses, Crane deserves credit for acting on behalf of American citizens weary of pandering for political purposes.

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