This puts a new spin on Obama's failure to enforce our border. Obama's Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is John Morton. You will recall him as the one who stated, shortly after Arizona passed its anti-illegal alien law, that he would have his agency ignore requests to take custody of illegal aliens from Arizona. Apparently, he was merely announcing something akin to his national policy. Indeed, his performance as our nation's top enforcement officer for our immigration laws has been so poor that the union representing all of ICE's 7,000 employees has issued a scathing letter announcing a "vote of no confidence" as to Morton and ICE Office of Detention Policy and Planning Assistant Director Phyllis Coven. The union charges that Morton and Coven are guilty of wholesale dereliction of duty that is leaving ICE unable to perform its mission. Here are some excerpts:
• Senior ICE leadership dedicates more time to campaigning for immigration reforms aimed at large scale amnesty legislation, than advising the American public and Federal lawmakers on the severity of the illegal immigration problem, and the need for more manpower and resources within ICE ERO [Enforcement and Removal Operations] to address it. ICE ERO is currently overwhelmed by the massive criminal alien problem in the United States resulting in the large-scale release of criminals back into local communities.
• Criminal aliens incarcerated in local jails seek out ICE officers and volunteer for deportation to avoid prosecution, conviction and serving prison sentences. Criminal aliens openly brag to ICE officers that they are taking advantage of the broken immigration system and will be back in the United States within days to commit crimes, while United States citizens arrested for the same offenses serve prison sentences. State and local law enforcement, prosecutors and jails are equally overwhelmed by the criminal alien problem and lack the resources to prosecute and house these prisoners, resulting in the release of criminal aliens back into local communities before making contact with ICE. Thousands of other criminal aliens are released to ICE without being tried for their criminal charges. ICE senior leadership is aware that the system is broken, yet refuses to alert Congress to the severity of the situation and request additional resources to provide better enforcement and support of local agencies. …
• While ICE reports internally that more than 90 percent of ICE detainees are first encountered by ICE in jails after they are arrested by local police for criminal charges, ICE senior leadership misrepresents this information publicly in order to portray ICE detainees as being non-criminal in nature to support the Administration's position on amnesty and relaxed security at ICE detention facilities.
• The majority of ICE ERO Officers are prohibited from making street arrests or enforcing United States immigration laws outside of the institutional (jail) setting. This has effectively created "amnesty through policy" for anyone illegally in the United States who has not been arrested by another agency for a criminal violation. . . .
• ICE Detention Reforms have transformed into a detention system aimed at providing resort like living conditions to criminal aliens. Senior ICE leadership excluded ICE officers and field managers (the technical experts on ICE detention) from the development of these reforms, and instead solicited recommendations from special interest groups. The lack of technical expertise and field experience has resulted in a priority of providing bingo nights, dance lessons and hanging plants to criminals, instead of addressing safe and responsible detention reforms for non-criminal individuals and families. Unlike any other agency in the nation, ICE officers will be prevented from searching detainees housed in ICE facilities allowing weapons, drugs and other contraband into detention centers putting detainees, ICE officers and contract guards at risk.
I am inclined to credit the letter with a measure of honesty simply because I have never in my life seen a union take this approach to an employer. That said, these are very serious charges indeed, desrving of both investigation by Congress and investigation by our MSM. Fat chance.