By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers have been very critical of President Barack H. Obama’s administration’s handling of border policy and they have asked for input into the ongoing debate on immigration reform. Senator Jeff Sessions (R) and U.S. Representative Bob Goodlatte (R) from Virginia on the other hand think that the ICE officers should have more input into any immigration reform package.
The two conservative members of Congress composed a letter to ask the President to meet with the officers and their union.
Senator Sessions and Rep. Goodlatte wrote to President Obama, “We write today to express concern over the exclusion of immigration and customs enforcement officers and their representatives from the negotiations surrounding immigration reform. It is our understanding that the National ICE Council, which represents over 7,000 Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers and support staff nationwide, requested a meeting with the Administration three months ago to weigh in on immigration policy and share their firsthand concerns over the breakdown of interior enforcement. To date, they have received no meeting invitation.”
Sen. Sessions and Rep. Goodlatte continued, “To be effective any immigration reform bill must heed the warnings from our federal immigration agents. Unfortunately, far from being included in the process, ICE officers have been shut out and have even had their day-to-day operations handcuffed by DHS officials to the point of being unable to carry out their sworn duties. These brave whistleblowers have been left with no other option but to file a lawsuit in federal court to fight the abuse of power from DHS leadership.”
The pair also attached a letter from the ICE Council and law enforcement officials across the country detailing their concerns with Senate Bill 744 and a statement from the National Citizenship and Immigration Services Council.
Sen. Sessions and Rep. Goodlatter wrote, “ICE officers have been shut out and have even had their day-to-day operations handcuffed by DHS officials to the point of being unable to carry out their sworn duties. These brave whistleblowers have been left with no other option but to file a lawsuit in federal court to fight the abuse of power from DHS leadership.”
Sen. Jeff Sessions has been a vocal opponent of the immigration reform written by the gang of eight and being promoted by President Barack H Obama, the Democratic Party, immigration reform advocates, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and many moderate Republicans. Despite determined opposition from Sessions and some conservative Senators, it appears likely that the Senate will pass the plan by July.