Reform Immigration For America Asks ICE: Who's In Charge?
Washington D.C. – On Friday, the Washington Post reported that immigration authorities have set quotas for agents that incentivize them to deport non-criminal undocumented non-citizens. This directly contradicts stated White House and administration goals of focusing enforcement efforts primarily on those who have dangerous or violent criminal backgrounds. The following is a statement from Rich Stolz, Campaign Manager of Reform Immigration FOR America.
“The revelations from Friday’s Washington Post story underscore a troubling pattern of inconsistency at Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Rather than reassuring Americans who are rightly concerned about where ICE chooses to focus its limited resources, the “clarifications” coming from the agency only served to exacerbate an already serious credibility problem. ICE’s priority must be the nation’s security, not wasting resources chasing after busboys and nannies.
On February 22nd, James Chaparro, Head of ICE Detention and Removal Operations issued a memo to field agents indicating that the agency had decided to implement a quota system for field agents to boost the number of deportations “with a ’surge’ in efforts to catch illegal immigrants” whose only violation was related to immigration or visa applications or reentering the United States after being deported.”
This is directly at odds with statements from the President and Secretary Napolitano whose purported enforcement and security goals are to focus deportation efforts on dangerous or violent criminals. To explain the contradiction, an agency spokesman indicated that Chaparro’s memo was “inconsistent” with the administration’s point of view and inconsistent with Secretary Napolitano. Adding to the disorder, Chapparro later issued a ‘clarifying’ memo that neither rescinded nor abandoned the controversial and ‘inconsistent’ quota system he enumerated in his memo to field.
Which is it? Is there a quota system or not? Who is actually in charge at ICE? Whose word is to be believed?
Spokesman comments aside, ICE Assistant Secretary Morton himself promised members of Congress to do better on ‘work site enforcement’ at a hearing last week in front of the House Appropriations Homeland Security Subcommittee. “It’s a concern to me, we will do better,” said Morton. Assistant Secretary Morton appears to have trouble keeping his story straight.
The most important question of all remains: Where is the accountability? Is ICE placing politics ahead of security?