BY LINDA BENTLEY | AUGUST 15, 2012
ICE Director Morton under fire for politicizing rule of law
In addition to suing Obama, King also mulled introducing a bill that would repeal everything Obama has signed into law
WASHINGTON – The National Immigration and Customs Enforcement Council and its affiliated local associations recently issued a letter announcing its unanimous 250-0 vote of no confidence in ICE Director John Morton and Assistant Director Phyllis Coven, claiming Department of Homeland Security leadership has little regard for the safety of Americans.
Calling ICE leadership’s policies, “misguided and reckless” the Council said ICE management has “abandoned the agency’s core mission of enforcing United States immigration laws and providing for public safety, and have instead directed their attention to campaigning for policies and programs related to amnesty.”
Upon learning about an ICE agent, who has not been identified, receiving a “Notice of Proposed Suspension” for arresting a 35-year-old illegal alien from Mexico, Sen. Jeff Sessions, R- Ala., weighed in on the matter by sending a letter expressing “serious concern” to ICE Director John Morton.
Sessions noted the ICE agent arrested an individual he observed entering the vehicle of an alien wanted for criminal activity in Newark, Del.
Although the agent determined the individual was a 35-year-old illegal alien with 10 previous convictions for traffic violations, including driving without a license, a memorandum by Assistant Field Office Director David O’Neill stated the agent was told to release the detained alien even though he was in the country illegally.
When the agent refused, he was threatened with a three-day suspension.
Sessions wrote, “It is my understanding that the acting field director advised the criminal alien that he would be let go because he was not a ‘presidential priority.’”
“The actions that it appears were taken by your agency send a message to agents in the field that they will be punished for doing their duty and enforcing the law,” said Sessions. “Nothing could be more damaging to the rule of law or agent morale.”
Sessions stated, “According to a spokesperson for Newark Police Department, an American stopped on the same charges as the criminal alien would have been put in jail. Federal law enforcement should certainly not be giving illegal aliens more preferential treatment than is afforded American citizens.”
He stated, “Your agency’s apparent treatment of the criminal alien sends the troubling message that the demands of public safety are trumped by the desire for reduced deportations of those deemed ‘not presidential priorities.’”
Sessions asked Morton to “provide a detailed account of the events in question, why this alien was released and allowed to continue to pose a threat to public safety, and how and whether ICE intends to discipline agents who enforce federal immigration laws as written consistent with their mission to protect the American people.”
In July, the National Border Patrol Council chastised Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano for traveling around the country saying “the border is more secure than it has ever been.”
NBPC President George McCubbin stated during a press briefing hosted by Sessions, “We do not believe that to be the case. She relied on information and statistics provided to her by those with an interest in having them reflect whatever position the administration wants them to reflect.”
It appears when Morton announced his agency had removed 396,906 illegal aliens in fiscal year 2011, claiming it was the largest number in the agency’s history, he included voluntary removals to inflate the figure.
An illegal alien can be caught trying to cross the border and be voluntarily returned numerous times in one year.
Morton included each voluntary removal in the deportation figures.
Since President Obama signed an executive order in June to stop the deportation of certain young illegal aliens, Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, announced last week he was poised to sue Obama.
Responding to criticism over his executive order, which many claim was passage of the DREAM Act by executive fiat, Obama asserted, “This is not amnesty. This is not immunity. This is not a path to citizenship. It’s not a permanent fix,” and said it was simply a “temporary stopgap measure.”
He said it made no sense to “expel talented young people who are, for all intents and purposes, Americans,” adding, “It’s the right thing to do.”
King said, “[Obama] has prosecutorial discretion, but he does not have the ability to grant blanket amnesty to entire classes of people.”
In announcing his plan to sue, most likely before Labor Day, King said he was “committed to strictly interpreting our Constitution in light of its original meaning and the common understanding of the intentions of our Founding Fathers who wrote and ratified the founding document.”
Calling the Constitution “timeless,” King said it was “just as legitimate today as when it was first written.”
He said, “When I was sworn into Congress, I took an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution and I carry a copy of the Constitution with me in my pocket as constant reminder to uphold its principles.”
King noted our Founding Fathers understood implicitly the threat a large, intrusive government posed to individual liberties and stated, “One of the ways the Founding Fathers sought to limit the power of the federal government was by reserving powers to the individual states, and to the people themselves. I am a firm believer in states’ rights, which is why I am a proud member of the Tenth Amendment Caucus, which focuses on restoring the critical balance between the powers of the states and those of the federal government.”
In addition to announcing his intention to sue Obama, King also mulled introducing a bill that would repeal everything Obama has signed into law.