Why Won’t Immigration Enforcement Officials Be Heard in the Immigration Debate?

Monday, May 20th, 2013 and is filed under Blog, Immigration, News

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Although the current amnesty bill was drafted behind closed doors, it’s not like it didn’t receive input from outside groups.   In fact, every special interest group under the sun – from big business and big labor to big ethnic, big law, and big religion – had their say in the bill.  The one group that was ignored (aside from We the People) was the immigration enforcement officers.

Over the past few years, Chris Crane, the president of the ICE union, has done yeoman’s work exposing how the Obama administration hampers efforts of his fellow officers in upholding the laws on the books.  Well, it appears that his group is not alone.  A 12,000-person union representing the USCIS has come out with a scathing criticism of the Senate gang’s bill:

In a statement to be released Monday, obtained by The Daily Caller, Kenneth Palinkas, president of the National Citizenship and Immigration Services Council, offers his AFL-CIO affiliated union’s concerns with the current immigration system and contends that the Senate bill does not address those concerns. He further points out that, like the Immigration and Custom Enforcement employees union, the USCIS Council was not consulted in the bill’s drafting and urges lawmakers to oppose the bill.

“We at USCIS are honored to stand with immigration officers and law enforcement officials across the nation,” says Palinkas in the statement. […]

In his statement, Palinkas highlights nine issues his union believes the Gang of Eight legislation fails to address with the current immigration system, including the fact that Palinkas says USCIS has become an application “approval machine” where few applications are denied due to a “rubber stamp” culture, “discouraging proper investigation into red flags and discouraging the denial of any applications.”

The bureaucracy of the current immigration system, Palinkas argues, makes coordination with Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents difficult and “USCIS officers are pressured to approve visa applications for many individuals ICE agents have determined should be placed into deportation proceedings.”

Palinkas further decries what he calls Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano’s “secretive panels,” which must approve USCIS officers’ notices for illegal immigrants to appear before federal judges to be put in removal proceedings.

I know many open-borders “conservatives” will dismiss this because it is coming from a union.  But this union is not seeking collective bargaining or to shake down the public for higher wages.  All they want is to do their job in enforcing our laws and protecting our borders from security threats.  In light of the revelation that 99.2% of those who applied for Obama’s illegal administrative amnesty program were approved, these agents have a right for their concerns to be addressed.  Why is the administration not letting them reject the applications of those who are deemed to be threats to our national security?

Only in Washington can groups like La Raza be placed ahead of the interests of the officers charged with enforcing our immigration and border security laws.