The recent revelation that federal authorities are working together to see the law of the United States enforced where illegal immigrants are concerned has seen Immigration and Customs Enforcement and US Citizenship and Immigration Services both praised and condemned. How you my readers feel about this really depends upon what side of the line you stand on with whether or not the United States needs to become tougher with enforcing its immigration laws. As sympathetic as I would like to be, because these are people we are discussing and outside of being here illegally some of them have done nothing else wrong, at the end of the day the law is the law. Everybody needs to be held accountable to the law. If accountability does not apply to everybody then it means nothing. Until our laws are changed I see two federal agencies cooperating within the letter of the law.
U.S. representative Michael Capuano recently wrote to Kirstjen Nielsen, secretary of the Department of Homeland Security on Tuesday to express his concerns about the two agencies cooperating with each other. In his correspondence that he sent to Nielsen Capuano describes the current relationship that exists between Immigration and Customs Enforcement and US Citizenship and Immigration Services as something that is horrendous while declaring that these are exactly the kind of policies that need to stop.
Tuesday morning several media platforms reported that the two agencies have been working hand in hand with each other. The US Citizenship and Immigration Services has been sending Immigration and Customs Enforcement the list of people they were interviewing. In return Immigration and Customs Enforcement has been informing US Citizenship and Immigration Services what people on their list they wanted to take into custody. Working together the two agencies have been scheduling interviews with illegal immigrants that saw some of them arrested and even deported.
The interviews were set up at the USCIS office for times that would be convenient for ICE to make sure they had one of their law enforcement agents on location. Times when the agent was running late those who were conducting the interviews at the USCIS offices would stall and extend the interview as they made small talk luring the immigrants into a false sense of safety and camaraderie. Other times if ICE could not have one of their officers present then the USCIS would cancel and reschedule the interview for another time that was more convenient for ICE. Over half of the immigrants that have been taken into the custody of ICE through the interagency cooperation already had final deportation orders against them.
U.S. representative Seth Moulton is another person who does not favor the cooperation that has been taking place between ICE and the USCIS. He contends that Congress should conduct hearings that would hold officials involved in the cooperation between the two agencies responsible. Moulton said, “It is the opposite of a government you can trust. And Americans deserve elected officials and government agents who they can trust.”
My opinion will no doubt be an unpopular one on this topic, but he is absolutely right. Americans do deserve elected officials and government agents that they can trust. We deserve a government that puts the interest of the American people first and protects our country by enforcing the laws of our land. The government knowingly allowing these people to continue breaking our laws would be an act of deceit that was being committed on a mass level against the rest of America who voted to place our officials into the positions that they hold. I am one of the many who can strongly support the interagency cooperation between these two agencies and to be honest I wish that there was more cooperation like this throughout the country.
Monday the bleeding heart liberals that make up the American Civil Liberties Union were quick to take the current situation to court as they represent five illegal immigrants and their spouses in a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security which oversees ICE. ACLU lawyers claim that the interviews are a trap that brings illegal immigrants to government offices under a false pretense.
A spokesman for Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, John Mohan, has declared that allegations stating cooperation between the two agencies was inappropriate is completely unfounded. While stating that the cooperation between the two agencies is critical Mohan said, ” This routine coordination within the Department of Homeland Security, not unlike the cooperative efforts we maintain with many other federal partners, is lawful and legitimate in the work we do to uphold our nation’s immigration laws.”
A USCIS representative Michael Bars let it be known that when agency officers encounter an individual with an outstanding administrative or criminal want or warrant or removal order, they will notify the appropriate law enforcement agency but has no role in issuing warrants or removal orders. Bars said, “USCIS is committed to adjudicating all petitions, applications and requests fairly, efficiently, and effectively on a case-by-case basis.”
Illegal immigrants who have received final deportation orders having to fear be arrested at government offices is nothing new and is definitely not something that was created by the Trump administration. Under Obama, immigrants with final deportation orders were also at risk of arrest if they appeared at government offices for scheduled meetings. Cooperation between the two agencies did not always run as smoothly as it is now which meant that illegal immigrants did not have to worry as much as they do today, but it does not change that the threat of arrest and deportation has been there going back as far as the previous administration.