They endorsed President Trump during the campaign, but now the nation’s deportation officers say they oppose his immigration framework, concluding that the proposed amnesty would leave “gaping holes” for a new wave of illegal immigration.
National ICE Council President Chris Crane sent a letter to Mr. Trump on Friday saying the four-point plan the White House proposed coupling legalization for illegal immigrant Dreamers with a border wall and changes to legal immigration falls short, leaving businesses free to continue hiring illegal immigrants and refusing to root out cities and counties serving as sanctuaries.
“We simply cannot in good faith support any legislative effort on immigration that does not include provisions regarding immigration detainers, sanctuary cities and the smuggling and trafficking of children across U.S. borders,” wrote Mr. Crane, whose organization represents 7,500 employees at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the agency that handles deportations and interior enforcement.
The letter marks a significant break for the ICE Council, which endorsed Mr. Trump in 2016 — backing that, along with support from the National Border Patrol Council, he trumpeted in campaign speeches.
Mr. Crane’s letter does not withdraw support from the president but says the path he is taking in immigration negotiations undercuts the security promises Mr. Trump made.
“What you negotiate on immigration isn’t just a give and take negotiation,” the ICE Council said, “it sets the table for our nation’s immigration enforcement policies and strategy moving forward, and any critical enforcement measures bargained away potentially leaves gaping holes in law enforcement’s ability to provide for public safety and national security.”
The White House didn’t respond to repeated messages from The Washington Times seeking comment on the letter.
Mr. Trump’s four-point plan would combine a pathway to citizenship for 1.8 million illegal immigrants with strict limits on the chain of family migration, an end to the Diversity Visa Lottery, a $25 billion trust fund to build his border wall, and changes to the law that would speed deportations for some illegal immigrants who are misusing humanitarian protections to gain a foothold in the U.S.
By Stephen Dinan for THE WASHINGTON TIMES
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