ICE officers are apparently very unhappy that Trump has not kept his promises about the border regarding catch and release.
Because of the surge, they say catch and release has gone into overdrive and they are being forced to help with it because the Border Patrol don’t want to do it.
WASHINGTON TIMES – ICE officers who endorsed President Trump in 2016 now say he has failed to follow through on his get-tough promises, saying catch-and-release of immigrants living illegally in the U.S. is not only still happening, but has gone into “overdrive.”
Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers say they’re being roped into such mundane tasks as opening the doors on vans to release immigrants already caught by Border Patrol agents. That’s dragging the officers from their usual duties of nabbing fugitives, or scouring local prisons and jails for immigrant criminals who lived illegally in the U.S. ready to be deported.
The shell game is all the more “ridiculous,” the officers said, because Border Patrol agents could fill out paperwork and open the doors themselves, but the agency’s leaders don’t want to be part of catch-and-release.
“Hundreds of man hours are wasted each day at a time of crisis on the border,” the leaders of the National ICE Council, the union that represents ICE officers, said in a letter sent directly to Mr. Trump on Monday.
The letter was sent just hours before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee voted to approve Mr. Trump’s pick, Ronald D. Vitiello, to be the new director of ICE.
Committee Chairman Ron Johnson waved a copy of the ICE Council’s letter during the vote and called the accusations “troubling.”
“We’re going to get to the bottom of this,” he told reporters afterward.
Who do they blame?
The ICE officers blamed both Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and Mr. Vitiello, a former Border Patrol agent who’s been serving since last June as acting director at ICE.
With Vitiello in the Senate now, this could gum up his nomination process.
ICE says they told Trump about the problem in January…
In the letter, the ICE Council said its president, Chris Crane, personally told Mr. Trump about the situation in a January meeting, and the council was disappointed nothing has been done.
“You frequently speak publicly of the great public safety work ICE is doing under your leadership. To be direct Mr. President — the rhetoric doesn’t match reality and we hope that this letter shows you the complete and total nonsense that is really taking place under the Trump Administration on the southern border,” the ICE officers said.
The White House did not respond to a request for comment.
Because there are so many migrants crossing the border right now, they don’t have enough space to keep them all. So they release some of these illegals hoping that they will come back for their court appearances on their own.
Though Congress needs to fix the big mess at the border, ICE says the Border Patrol has the power to stop forcing them to participate in this mundane job of catch and release so they can get back their usual jobs.