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Obama “shunned” ICE agents; agency “falling apart” says union officer

Chris Crane, ICE council president, testified before Congress on Tuesday, saying that ICE agents’ morale is at an “all time low” and his council was shunned by the Obama administration. (Screen snip from Talk Radio News video at Labor Union Report, Red State)Most politicians deal with immigration as a political issue. In fact, the U.S. has a dysfunctional bureaucracy critically in need of reform.

At present the federal bureaucracy often works better for aliens in the country illegally than for many who come to the U.S. in search of a new permanent home.

On Tuesday, Chris Crane, National Immigration Council 188 president, the American Federation of Government Employees, testified before Congress. The council represents 7,000 agents. Crane dropped several bombshells.

Crane’s testimony on Tuesday received scant coverage in legacy media although Crane’s organization represents experts on the front line.

In a press release on Jan. 30, Crane said the administration of President Barack Obama “shunned” his union organization and so did the AFL-CIO [boldface added]:

“We went directly to the Obama administration as well as the AFL-CIO with real matters of life and death for unionized American law enforcement officers and they shunned us…we’re talking about 50,000 AFL-CIO affiliate members.  We asked both the AFL-CIO and President Obama for help with corruption within our respective Federal law enforcement agencies, climbing officer suicide rates, assaults against officers, and perhaps most alarming, offenses against pregnant female employees.  Following the White House meeting, the Obama Administration cut us off. Cecilia Munoz refuses to correspond with us, and President Tumka hasn’t so much as made one public comment fighting for the safety of AFL-CIO federal law enforcement officers.  He just doesn’t speak on behalf of our union workers.”

Munoz is a White House official who once worked for La Raza, an advocacy group perceived by border control proponents as working to undermine the enforcement of immigration laws for political purposes.

During his testimony on Tuesday, Crane dropped another bombshell by including numbers the administration rarely mentions.  “We currently have 11-20 million illegal aliens in the United States,” he said. Crane included aliens who overstay their visas, a population administrations past and present have ignored despite the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the U.S.

Crane also told Congress “ICE has essentially prohibited agents from enforcing the laws…” and morale at ICE is “at an all-time low.”

ICE is headed by director John Morton who once worked for controversial U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.

In 2010, The US Report disclosed officers and agents had issued a ‘no confidence’ vote in Morton and Office of Detention Policy and Planning assistant director Phyllis Coven.

Scandals have also plagued the agency. In 2012 a male agent claimed he was removed from his post because of sexual discrimination. Some of Dept. of Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano’s appointees at ICE were extremely questionable.  Adding more controversy, the federal government  walked guns across the southern border in a botched sting operation, Fast and Furious, and an agent with Customs and Border Patrol, Brian Terry, was reportedly murdered by illegal aliens with at least one of the guns.

In Feb., 2012, an employee shooting occurred at an ICE office in Los Angeles.

Legacy media studiously ignored these developments.

The ICE agents’ union had issued a statement in 2010 after the Obama administration and Morton spent taxpayer money to “make detention centers more humane.” Tax dollars were spent to expand the law library for detainees, add hanging plants and flower baskets and entertainment such as bingo and movie nights and other “improvements.” The approach strikes a sharp contrast to the treatment of Americans detained in Mexico.

Democrats have studiously fought enforcing immigration laws, claiming that the administration is focusing on criminals rather than the illegal alien population.

A sizable percentage of the illegal population comes from Mexico, a reflection failed foreign policy with that country.

Meanwhile, skilled workers needed by the U.S. face heavy expenses for legal fees and a complex bureaucracy in order to immigrate.

The U.S. has no need for unskilled workers at present because the unemployment rate has not improved notably since Obama took office after the 2008 election.

Crane said in his press release:

“Respectfully, we see a lot of problems with the recently proposed reforms and we plan to exercise our rights as Americans to participate in the democratic process and voice those concerns publicly in the upcoming months; we hope to do so without groups like the AFL-CIO demonizing us for expressing a different opinion.”

Democrats successfully skewed immigration as an asset in the 2012 election, managing to avoid discussion of problems cited by Crane in his press release and testimony. Republicans have been cautious about tackling problems with the federal bureaucracy, largely for political reasons.

(Commentary by Kay B. Day/Feb. 7, 2013)

Related Articles

ICE Union Bombshell: ICE ‘Guided’ By Illegal Alien Interest Groups, Agents ‘Prohibited’ From Enforcing Laws (Labor Union Report at Red State)

Media skew facts on foreign nationals, 9-11 and E-Verify in Florida (The US Report)

Read articles about immigration and border security in archives at The US Report.


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