Since the 1980s, illegal immigration on the southern border has dominated headlines and fractured the US Congress, with Republican politicians typically opposing Democratic Party attempts to legalize millions of illegal immigrants. Just last month, the Supreme Court blocked President Obama’s plan to grant amnesty to a large segment of the illegal population.
The dire situation on thesouthwest border has allowed multiple grave security threats to foment including human trafficking, narcotics smuggling, and terrorism. The National Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Council has responded by sending a concerned letter to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan urging actionto address the intensifying national immigration crisis. In particular, the organization took issue with Ryan’s support of the omnibus spending bill.
The union represents approximately 7,000 ICE law enforcement officers and staff.
“Your 2015 spending bill funded sanctuary cities, the resettlement of illegal alien border crossers, the release of criminal aliens, and executive amnesty—policies which jeopardize the safety and security of the American people. These programs should have never been funded,” wrote union President Chris Crane in the letter obtained by the Washington Examiner.
The letter references a 2015 Government Accountability Office report, which connected the crisis to President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. DACA allows eligible candidates who came to the United States as undocumented immigrants to be exempt from deportation and to seek permission to work lawfully into the United States.
Crane criticized Ryan for funding the initiative, which he described as a stepping stone to further exemptions. The letter said, “Foreign nationals flood across the border because they have been led to believe that if they can make it here, they can stay. I am sorry to say that your rhetoric could be adding to that perception.”
In addition, Crane criticized Ryan for his failure to support Kate’s law whereby undocumented immigrants who are deported and return to the United States receive a mandatory five year sentence in a federal penitentiary. The law is named for Kathryn Steinle, a 32-year old killed in July 2015 by a Mexican illegal immigrant with a criminal record who had been deported several times. The incident underscored the danger posed by criminal aliens to US communities.
“Respectfully, it is unclear to us why the Speaker of the People’s House does not want to protect the American public from the reckless and potentially deadly driving of illegal aliens,” the letter read.
The letter also noted that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) ranked dead last in a survey measuring the morale of a federal agencies, indicating that ICE officers are overwhelmed.
“As ICE officers sworn to uphold the law and defend the US Constitution, we wish the Speaker of the House would be more vocal in championing an immigration policy that defends the rule of law, and represents the interests of American citizens and lawful residents and protects their safety,” Crane wrote.