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Last week, an ICE agent was suspended after he refused to release a suspected illegal alien that was only charged with a number of traffic offenses. Because that individual was not convicted of any serious crime, ICE bureaucracy didn’t consider him a high priority.
Senator Jeff Sessions expressed concern that the Obama administration was codifying priorities for DHS that only include those convicted of a crime. He fired off a letter to ICE Director John Morton stating as such.
I write to express my serious concern about a recent report regarding the impending suspension of a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent. According to the report, the agent was served with a “Notice of Proposed Suspension” for arresting an individual whom the agent observed entering the vehicle of an alien wanted for criminal activity in Newark, Delaware, and whom the agent later determined to be a 35-year-old illegal alien with ten previous convictions for traffic violations, including driving without a license.
According to the report, a memorandum by Assistant Field Office Director David O’Neill states that the agent was told to release the detained alien even though he was in the country illegally. When the agent refused, he was threatened with a three-day suspension. It is my understanding that the acting field director advised the criminal alien that he would be let go because he was not a “presidential priority.”
The first memo of its kind, the so-called Mayorkas Memo, didn’t even address criminal history. Instead, that memo suggested ways in which USCIS could apply a number administrative amnesty maneuvers to millions of suspected illegal aliens, none of whom could be convicted of a crime.
It’s also important to note that USCIS, the agency tasked with implementing the new DREAM Act amnesty plan announced by President Obama in June, has a recent history of rubber stamping visa applications. Another portion of the Mayorkas Memo gives USCIS broad interpretive powers for approving applications. While those convicted of a felony are definitely ruled out of the program, those convicted of a felony wind up in a much grayer area. USCIS is directed to only deny those convicted of “a significant misdemeanor offense.” The word “significant” could be interpreted a number of ways. For instance, would a “driving under the influence” conviction be considered a “significant misdemeanor offense”?
The USCIS gave FrontPage a vanilla answer attempting to assure the public that it is taking proper steps to see to it that this vague clause will be implemented properly. William Wright, a spokesperson at USCIS, contented, “USCIS is currently developing a process by which certain young individuals who came to the United States as children may request deferred action. USCIS is committed to ensuring that this new process works within the agency’s mission to administer our nation’s immigration benefits, serve our customers, and safeguard the integrity of the immigration system.”
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