White House domestic policy adviser Cecilia Muñoz faulted Congress for requiring the deportation of illegal immigrants, even as the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency law enforcement union criticized President Obama’s team for freezing them out of immigration policy discussions.
“Congress, under the immigration laws that we’ve got now, Congress requires us to remove people who are removable and gives DHS, frankly, a whole lot of resources to do that job,” Muñoz, who joined the White House after a stint as a senior vice president at the National Council of La Raza, said yesterday. She was responding to an illegal immigrant who asked her about the deportations that have taken place under Obama, per Politico. “We all understand we are enforcing and implementing a system which is broken, and our primary job here is to fix it and that requires the Congress of the United States,” she added.
The ICE union, which a court ruled last week could proceed with a legal challenge to the Obama administration’s decision not to enforce immigration laws for certain types of illegal immigrants, says Muñoz has ignored their concerns about immigration reform proposals.
“Respectfully, we see a lot of problems with the recently proposed reforms and we plan to exercise our rights as American’s to participate in the democratic process and voice those concerns publicly in the upcoming months,” National ICE Council president Chris Crane said in a statement this week.
The union, which voted that it had “no confidence” in ICE agency leadership, complained that Muñoz and Obama have ignored corruption in the agency — including charges of sexual assault.
“We asked both the AFL-CIO and President Obama for help with corruption within our respective Federal law enforcement agencies, climbing officer suicide rates, assaults against officers, and perhaps most alarming, offenses against pregnant female employees,” Crane added. “Following the White House meeting, the Obama Administration cut us off. Cecilia Munoz refuses to correspond with us.”
“As the ICE union has indicated, the administration is more interested in pushing for amnesty than supporting its brave officers who protect the public safety,” Stephen Miller, communications director for Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., said in a statement to The Washington Examiner. “How can we take seriously the White House’s push for immigration reform when it shuts out the courageous officers in favor of special interests?”
Crane also said that AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka is trying to suppress union criticisms of the administration’s immigration reform proposals, which Trumka supports.
“The last time I checked, all of the heavy hitters within immigration enforcement to include ICE, the U.S. Border Patrol and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services were all excluded by the AFL-CIO from policy planning and input – and we’re all AFL-CIO affiliates,” Crane said. “With most of the nation’s immigration enforcement experts at his fingertips, to include immigration officers, agents and attorneys, Trumka has refused our union input on comprehensive immigration reform.”