In 2016, Donald J. Trump was the first presidential candidate ever to receive the endorsement of the National ICE Council, a union whose membership includes nearly 8,000 employees of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. At the time, the union praised the Republican nominee as being the one politician to really understand what the United States was facing in terms of the illegal immigration crisis.
“In his immigration policy, he has outlined core policies needed to restore immigration security – including support for increased interior enforcement and border security, an end to sanctuary cities, an end to catch-and-release, mandatory detainers, and the canceling of executive amnesty and non-enforcement directives,” the union said upon endorsing Trump.
But two years into Trump’s presidency, the bloom has fallen off the rose.
In an angry letter to the White House, ICE officers say they are being used to release illegal immigrants nabbed by Border Patrol instead of being out there in the field rounding up suspects for deportation.
“Hundreds of man hours are wasted each day at a time of crisis on the border,” the leaders of the union wrote. “You frequently speak publicly of the great public safety work ICE is doing under your leadership. To be direct Mr. President — the rhetoric doesn’t match reality and we hope that this letter shows you the complete and total nonsense that is really taking place under the Trump Administration on the southern border.”
The Department of Homeland Security swiftly responded to the letter with a public statement assuring ICE Council members that Congress, not the administration, was to blame for the ongoing crisis.
“We have repeatedly sounded the alarm with Congress as resources are being stretched across DHS as agencies work to contain this historic surge,” the department said. “ICE and CBP are fully engaged on a coordinated response and continue to update Congress on the challenges faced by our agents and officers at the border.”
Frankly, we have to come down on the Trump administration’s side here. The president has faced congressional and legal blocks at every turn. He has shown through words, actions, executive orders, and declarations of national emergency that he is every bit as determined to end illegal immigration as he was on the campaign trail. Alas, the president is not all-powerful, and he is opposed in his mission by nearly every special interest group in Washington and beyond. Until and unless there is a concerted public outcry against this nation-destroying scourge, there is only so much President Trump can do.