Human Events Blog

ICE union chief: Morton shut us out from beginning

ICE union chief: Morton shut us out from beginning

As the ongoing inner turmoil inside the Immigration, Customs and Enforcement agency rages between its union and it’s director John Morton, the union chief reiterated today that the relationship has been icy from the beginning of Mr. Morton’s tenure.

After initially backing Mr. Morton prior to his Senate confirmation hearing in 2010, Chris Crane, president of the National ICE Council that represents the thousands of border and immigration employees, said that the soon thereafter the union was left out in the cold on decision making that affected the safety and security of the agents.

“About two weeks after he was appointed, we got a letter from his office…and basically shut us out at that point…They [the White House] got our confirmation and once they had that and he [Morton] was sitting in the driver’s seat, he told us to go away. And they have shut us out ever since,” Crane said in a conference call with reporters Wednesday.

The conference call comes on the heels of Mr. Crane’s testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday where he urged the committee that ICE is not enforcing American law and that the agents are “prohibited from arresting illegal aliens solely on charges of illegal entry and visa overstay.”

As Human Events reported earlier this year, Crane criticized the Obama administration for keeping his agents from the negotiating table when discussing comprehensive immigration reform.

Crane reiterated to the committee that the ICE-imposed directives, such as the Dec. 21 detainers memo and the established rule on public charges, who are keeping his agents from doing their job properly and are ultimately putting them in harm’s way.

“…[W]hen I went to the academy for my basic training, that [the public charge] was one of those laws we were told ‘you are never going to get to enforce this law out in the field, it just is not going to happen,’” Crane said.

In October 2012, 10 ICE agents filed a complaint against Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Morton for their memos that have altered how immigration laws are enforced. A federal appeals judge recently granted the ICE agents standing and Crane said on Wednesday that he’s waiting to hear when the next hearing will be.

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