ICE Agents face critical decisions following events in El Paso
EL PASO, Texas, July 19, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- "Tuesday's incident in El Paso is unacceptable, as a union we must find a way to protect our officers as well as public safety in spite of the Administration's reckless new approach to immigration enforcement," said Chris Crane, President of the National ICE Council, which represents approximately 7,000 ICE agents, officers and employees. "A foreign national illegally in the United States attempted to escape from ICE agents, assaulting and injuring one officer in the process, which is itself a Federal Felony. Instead of being charged and held in custody, agents were ordered by ICE managers to release the alien without criminal or immigration charges, essentially granting amnesty under President Obama's new policies simply because the alien is a certain age, attending school, and residing in the United States. I don't believe any American is asking for such an extremist approach to limiting immigration enforcement," said Crane.
The alien involved in the assault and attempted escape was arrested and jailed by sheriff's deputies earlier that same morning and charged with assault causing bodily injury to a family member and interfering with a person attempting to make an emergency phone call for assistance. ICE agents were following up on what prior to the Obama Administration would have been considered a routine jail check in search of aliens arrested by local police on criminal charges. Agents allege that following the escape attempt, the 5'9, 245 lbs subject was pursued for approximately one block before being captured. While the criminal alien was released without charge, agents were questioned before medical treatment was even administered and may face disciplinary charges from ICE regarding the escape. One agent is medically restricted from duty for at least two weeks due to injuries sustained during the incident.
"ICE managers didn't even question the criminal alien but instead ordered that he immediately be released in accordance with the President's new immigration polices stating that ICE's mission now is to identify aliens and release them," said Crane. "As an agency we're just checking boxes in an effort to release everyone we can. Law enforcement, public safety and common sense are all out the window; officers are under orders to ignore the danger signs, even when they witness a possible felony assault of one of our own officers."
"We've been trying to get more details about the Administration's newest policies and give them a chance, but what we're seeing concerns us greatly," Crane explained, "agents and officers are being ordered to do what they know is wrong under threat of losing their jobs." ICE officers and their union say they've made every effort to reach out and work with the Obama Administration, to include a trip to the White House to meet with high ranking Administration officials. "After the meeting they just cut us off and refuse to communicate with us, it's disheartening, I guess we just don't represent enough votes to be of any importance," said Crane.
SOURCE National ICE Council