The National Immigration and Customs Enforcement Council Locals 1210 and 1944 on Monday sent a letter to President Donald Trump letting him know they are not happy with what's taking place along the United States-Mexico Border.
"You frequently speak publicly of the great public safety work ICE is doing under your leadership. To be direct Mr. President – the rhetoric doesn't match reality and we hope that this letter shows you the complete and total nonsense that is really taking place under the Trump Administration on the southern border," the leader reads.
Specifically, border patrol agents have issues with the "Catch and Release" program.
"As you know, every day thousands of illegal aliens are being released into the United States by your Administration. 'Catch and Release' is not just happening, it's in overdrive. Catch and release must continue as ICE doesn't have sufficient custody space to hold the massive number of family units illegally entering the United States ever day," the letter says. "DHS resources on the border are overwhelmed. Political games in Washington, DC have rendered the United States completely incapable of controlling its southern border."
According to the union, ICE officials are having to detain people, process them, provide them with an immigration hearing date and then release them to a charitable organization that facilitates the illegal's travel throughout the United States.
"CBP, with the support of DHS and ICE leadership, has determined that it will not release the thousands of immigration violations is is arresting every day on the southern border, even though all understand custody space does not exist and the detainees will be released by someone within DHS, CBP, with the support of DHS and ICE leadership, has tasked ICE Officers with releasing all immigration violations arrested by Border Patrol and CBP Officers," the letter continues.
One of their concerns is the lack of resources, including manpower.
"ICE has in effect been forced to shut down or significantly cripple many vital ICE ERO [Enforcement and Removal Operations] Criminal and Terrorism apprehension efforts covering large areas on the southern border simply so ICE Officers can serve the release paperwork for CBP, this because of the massive number of immigration detainees that CBP is refusing to serve," the letter explains.
The union's letter says ICE officers are having to stop what they're having to do to print out release paperwork for illegal aliens because border patrol refuses to do so. One of the arching impacts of CBP not partaking in handing out release paperwork, according to the letter, is that members of ICE's Criminal and Terrorism team are being removed from other parts of the country to deploy to the southern border.
Whistleblowers reportedly met with National ICE Council President Chris Cane when he visited Texas. Their talks were about the waste and safety threats stemming from Catch and Release.
"Officers on field teams reported being moments from arresting aggravated felons under their surveillance, only to be ordered not to make the arrest and let the aggravated felon remain free in the community because the aggravated felon 'is not ICE's priority,' according to ICE managers," the letter claims. "Instead, the priority of ICE's skeleton staff of officers along the southern border is to open the door to Border Patrol vehicles, and serve a single piece of paper that Border Patrol agents and CBP Officers could serve themselves."
The letter calls on President Trump to visit the border, meet with veteran ICE officers currently in the field. The union also wants Trump to "immediately authorize investigative reporters access to ICE and CBS facilities, as well as ICE Officers on the southern border."
"You don't like 'fake news' and neither do our officers, so instead let's provide transparency, tell Americans the truth, and stop this nonsense and wasteful and dangerous policies now," the letter concludes.
The letter shows the Council's dwindling support for President Trump. The National ICE Council endorsed Trump during the 2016, a first in the union's history, The Daily Caller reported.
Full text of letter sent from National ICE Council president Chris Crane to POTUS yesterday regarding the catch-and-release situation at the border pic.twitter.com/qxt3y49eZ3— Nate Madden (@NateOnTheHill) March 12, 2019