November 14, 2014
Morale among officers at Immigration and Customs Enforcement, already low, has reached a new bottom as illegal immigrants expecting amnesty from President Obama taunt and ridicule the overworked officers, according to a new report.
“Yes,” said one, “working for this agency is hell right now.”
That was the latest message to immigration policy critic Jessica M. Vaughan, director of policy studies for the Center for Immigration Studies. She has charted the woes of the officers who carry out the president’s orders.
In a new paper, she wrote:
“The president’s gradual, calculated dismantling of our immigration system has caused morale to plummet in the agencies of the Department of Homeland Security. Career immigration officials have courageously objected in public, and sometimes resorted to lawsuits to draw attention to the administration’s subversion of the law. In denial about their principled objections to his scheme, now the president is hoping to stifle their voices by offering them a pay increase as part of this outrageous plan. His assumption that they are motivated by money shows just how little respect he has for the men and women who have devoted their careers to public service in immigration.”
Vaughan told Secrets that she has been concerned about morale in ICE and raised the issue with Homeland Secretary Jeh Johnson.
She said that officers are concerned that illegals with criminal records are being released under Obama’s policies, and that some immigrants taunt the officers, believing that the policies protect them.
“Some have told me that illegal alien criminals they have arrested have even taunted them, saying they know the ICE officers can’t do anything to them because of Obama administration policies,” Vaughan told Secrets.
The officers have raised the issues at “town hall” meetings with their superiors.
However, she said, top Homeland officials believe the issue is more about poor pay, not working conditions or the president’s policies. As a result, the White House is considering a pay raise as part of the president’s amnesty plan to some 5 million illegals.
“Clearly the administration is trying to triangulate at best, or more likely thinks that it can just dangle the prospects of a pay raise if they would stop objecting to administration non-enforcement policies,” said Vaughan. “I sincerely doubt anyone will fall for it, but it does reveal what he thinks of them,” she added.
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner’s “Washington Secrets” columnist, can be contacted at [email protected].