Law Enforcement to Congress: Listen To Us, Not the Lobbyists!

As you probably know, a number of CEOs have descended on Washington to lobby for immigration “reform,” i.e., legalizing and importing tens of millions of low-skilled workers so as to drive down wages. This is not exactly a noble enterprise, especially since, as Jeff Sessions has documented, many of these same CEOs have been busily laying off American citizens. Nevertheless, the lobbying effort has generally been applauded by the Democratic Party press.

For a contrary view, let’s listen to Chris Crane, President of the ICE Council, the union that represents immigration enforcement officers, who addressed this letter to all House members:

Dear Member of Congress,

I am the President of the National ICE Council, representing approximately 7,000 Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers, agents and support staff. I am also an actively serving ICE officer.

Numerous news reports have announced that a large group of CEO’s, special interests and groups opposing immigration enforcement plan to increase lobbying efforts on House members starting this week. This lobbyist pressure campaign is designed to get House members to either support legislation similar to the Schumer-Rubio bill or to pass individual bills that will be combined with Gang of Eight legislation into a comprehensive bill in a conference committee. Many of the groups stand to make a fortune from the immigration provisions they are seeking. Indeed, the 1,200 page Senate plan lined the pockets of many of the same groups now lobbying House members.

You should be aware that these groups have not worked with or consulted with ICE officers. In fact, their actions have undermined the safety of the country and law enforcement personnel. They do not represent the interests of your constituents, the law enforcement community, or the nation itself. They have demonstrated no evident concern for the constitutional rule of law. They are interested in power and money. ICE officers are pleading with you to resist their well-financed pressure campaign and stand with American citizens and the immigration officers who put their own personal safety at risk each day to provide for public safety. The American public is fed up with rich individuals, corporations and special interests using money to control the legislative process.

According to the New York times, the lobbying campaign begins today and continues throughout the week: “Sponsors of the event include the United States Chamber of Commerce; FWD.us, a political action group set up by Silicon Valley executives including Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook; and the Partnership for a New Economy, which is led jointly by New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Rupert Murdoch and Bill Marriott Jr.” These groups are interested in increased profits and power; to my knowledge they have never lifted a finger to assist ICE officers in creating legislation that makes public safety and national security our priority.

If these groups were concerned about public safety, national security and the rule of law they would be joining our call for an investigation of the Department of Homeland Security. In fact, we are urging all lawmakers to demand an investigation of DHS before moving immigration bills. ICE officers are being ordered by DHS political appointees to ignore the law. Violent criminal aliens are released every day from jails back into American communities. ICE Officers face disciplinary action for engaging in routine law enforcement actions. We are barred from enforcing large sections of the Immigration and Nationality Act, even when public safety is at risk. Officer morale is devastated. Our agency‘s managers answer to special interests and not to Congress. No reform can succeed as long as this or any other administration can choose to ignore Congress and violate the law with impunity.

The National ICE Council would be eager to meet with you to discuss these matters further.

Sincerely,

Chris Crane

The Obama administration has been a golden age–the best time ever–for lobbyists. That isn’t going to change, but maybe House Republicans will take Mr. Crane’s message to heart.

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