If you wonder why the U.S. border is a sieve, consider this. An ICE Immigration and Customs) agent arrested an illegal immigrant in Delaware. The immigrant had a string of traffic violations. The ICE bureaucracy not only released him, it threatened to suspend the agent for three days.
This has landed the ICE into trouble with Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama. Sen. Sessions has demanded that the ICE explain itself.
The agent was told by his superior to release the man. Reason: the man was not a “priority target.” It is not clear what constitutes a priority target.
The officer complained. He was then threatened with a 3-day suspension.
So, the illegal immigrant went free. This upset local police, who wanted to arrest the guy for the traffic violations. The police department said any American with that many violations — at least 10 — would have been jailed.
Sen. Sessions wrote a letter to the ICE. “Federal law enforcement should certainly not be giving illegal aliens more preferential treatment that is afforded American citizens. Your agency’s apparent treatment of the criminal alien sends the troubling message that the demands of public safety are trumped by the desire for reduced deportations of those deemed ‘not presidential priorities.”
Every bureaucrat wants to avoid exposure. This is bad publicity for the agency. It will now have to stonewall Sen. Sessions. This will be fairly easy. But it is an annoyance. It’s not that Sen. Sessions has the power to do anything about it. The ICE is under the President. Sessions is a Republican. The President is not.
Sessions is demanding that ICE provide a detailed account of the events involving the agent along with an explanation of why the illegal alien was released and allowed to pose a threat to public safety.
Sessions will come up empty on this.
Word is that other ICE agents are really upset by the whole affair. This could cause the supervisor problems. What he did was of course fully understandable. Arresting someone requires filling out forms. It requires a process. The supervisor wanted to avoid all this. He wants his paycheck, not a lot of forms to fill out. It’s not easy to deport an illegal alien. It’s better to limit arrests to “priority targets,” undefined.
If he gets reprimanded, it will be because he got bad publicity for the ICE, not because he had the illegal released. The goal of every bureaucracy is to avoid bad publicity.
The union has now gotten involved on the side of the agent. That will put the supervisor in jeopardy. The hierarchy wants no conflict with the union.
The union representative asked this: “If a law enforcement officer can’t perform routine enforcement functions, what do we have a law enforcement agency for?”
Answer: to provide lifetime employment for senior bureaucrats, with a minimal amount of risk or paperwork. It’s just like any other bureaucracy.