In a letter sent to Sen. Marco Rubio, the head of the National Immigration and Customs Enforcement Council pleaded not to introduce the Gang of 8 immigration bill until certain provisions that affected ICE operation were resolved. Sen. Rubio and the Gang of Eight went ahead and pushed forward with the bill anyway.
The National ICE Council is the employee union that represents Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers and is an affiliate of the AFL-CIO. President Chris Crane wrote in a letter obtained by Townhall that he hoped the filing of the Gang of 8 legislation be delayed to address some of the problems that the National ICE Council found in the bill. Specifically, Crane wrote of eight areas of trouble, including "the lack of ICE resources," "DHS directives that release dangerous criminal aliens back into our communities," "the need for biometric exit/entry," "the administration's dangerous abuse of prosecutorial discretion," and "our inability to make street arrests."
"If these issues are not resolved," Crane wrote, "I have no doubt - based on my law enforcement experience - that this proposal would further hamstring the ability of our officers to protect the public."
The Gang of 8's bill was filed yesterday, and Alex Conant, a spokesman for Sen. Rubio, said that its introduction will make it easier for the ICE Council's concerns to be addressed. "By introducing the bill," Conant said, "we have actually made it easier for more people to review it, comment on it, and suggest changes to it before the first vote is taken.
"Introduction of a bill is only the first step in what Senator Rubio believes should be a lengthy process of review."
Sen. Rubio has been stressing the importance of the review and amendment process for a long time. On Monday, Sen. Rubio said that "we need more openness and transparency that I firmly believe will only help improve this bill and earn the public's confidence."
The lengthy process of reform discussions did finally produce legislative text yesterday. The bill is available to be read in full here.