Only the House can save the nation's immigration enforcement from destruction, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Council President Chris Crane warned business executives promoting the Senate immigration bill. The National ICE Council represents approximately 7,000 dedicated ICE officers, agents and personnel.
In a letter sent today to CEOs, lobbyists and special interest group leaders pushing immigration plans through Congress - such as Facebook and the Chamber of Commerce - Crane says the executives are wielding vast amounts of money and influence to intimidate the House into passing the Senate's dangerous bill:
"Only the U.S. House of Representatives now stands between the American people and the potential destruction of federal immigration enforcement. Yet the groups represented on this letter are spending enormous sums of money or wielding enormous amounts of influence in an attempt to intimidate the House into passing a plan similar to that adopted by the Senate - a bill that not one member of the Senate had the time to read before voting on."
Passage of the bill will "sacrifice the safety of every man, woman and child residing in the United States," Crane warns.
A copy of the letter follows:
Dear Sirs and Madams:
I write to you today in my capacity as the President of the National Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Council, representing approximately 7,000 ICE agents, officers and staff. I am also an ICE officer myself.
Each of you receiving this letter today has played a major role in pushing so-called "comprehensive immigration reform," the Rubio-Schumer immigration bill or is pressing the House to advance similar legislation.
During recent years, ICE officers have documented extraordinary political abuses at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and ICE that have threatened public safety and undermined the ability of ICE agents and officers to enforce the laws enacted by Congress. I cannot recall any of you speaking out publicly against these abuses or requesting a meeting with ICE Officers to address our concerns.
ICE officers arguably know more about our nation's broken immigration system than any group in the United States. Yet President Barack Obama and the Gang of Eight actively prohibited them from having input. Only influential and affluent groups and wealthy individuals like you were given an opportunity to provide real input on our nation's new immigration laws. As ICE officers fought a very public battle seeking to add measures that would provide for public safety and national security, you did nothing to assist or support us, but in fact-through your advocacy - put officers and the public at risk.
As a result, the Senate passed an immigration bill that will fail America. While this legislation may satisfy your personal financial or political objectives, it undermines immigration enforcement and worsens the immigration problems currently experienced in the United States.
As you fight for special protections and legalization for violent criminal offenders and gang members illegally in the United States, certainly you must realize that in doing so you sacrifice the safety of every man, woman and child residing in the United States, regardless of citizenship. Certainly you must know that when you fight for legislation that protects criminal aliens who assault law enforcement officers, you increase the risk to every police officer, sheriff's deputy, and federal agent across our nation; officers whose lives and welfare should hold some value to you and the organizations you represent.
Only the U.S. House of Representatives now stands between the American people and the potential destruction of federal immigration enforcement. Yet the groups represented on this letter are spending enormous sums of money or wielding enormous amounts of influence in an attempt to intimidate the House into passing a plan similar to that adopted by the Senate - a bill that not one member of the Senate had the time to read before voting on.
It is a sad day in America when the political class in Washington, and groups that can deliver votes and money, have more influence in writing our immigration laws than everyday American citizens and the law enforcement officers sworn to protect them. I hope you stand with law enforcement and stand for the rule of law - if for no other reason than out of compassion for the lives that we can protect if we finally begin to enforce our nation's immigration laws.
Are you really willing to support an immigration plan that will put officers and the public in danger simply because it includes special items that advance the financial or political interests of your group or company? Are we in law enforcement not worthy of your respect? Do you believe that our experience and advice is without value in creating new immigration legislation? I am requesting a meeting with each of you to discuss the answers to these questions, as well as to speak to you about the field experience of immigration officers and agents who daily witness a side of our nation's immigration crisis that many in the media and indeed our government actively work to conceal from the American public.
Please find my contact information attached. I look forward to meeting with you.