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Reminding Christopher Crane That He Is President of the ICE Union, Not the United States

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The last I checked federal bureaucrats are supposed to implement the administration's policies, not publicly obstruct them.

So why is Christopher Crane, President of the National Immigration and Customs Enforcement Council -- the union of 7,000 immigration agents, officers, and employees -- engaging in a pattern of open insubordination designed to thwart the president's effort to deport dangerous criminal aliens and national security risks?

Crane is livid about President Obama's Deferred Action plan, announced on June 15, to temporarily defer the removal of undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. years ago as children and have shown promise by furthering their education or preparing to serve in the U.S. armed forces. Crane has the audacity to publicly challenge President Obama's view that it makes more sense to deport violent criminals and national security risks than young students, graduates, and veterans. Someone should remind Crane that the American people elected Mr. Obama president, not him.

Crane was a featured speaker Monday at a Capitol Hill press conference organized by a group of Republican Senators to denounce the President's Deferred Action program. According to press reports, the ICE union president claimed:

Prosecutorial discretion for dreamers is solely based on the individual's claims. Our orders are if an alien says they went to high school, then let them go... Officers have been told that there is no burden for the alien to prove anything... At this point we don't even know why DHS has criteria at all, as there is no requirement or burden to prove anything on the part of the alien.

Crane is either intentionally trying to mislead the public or he hasn't bothered to read the Deferred Action guidance posted on ICE's website. It squarely puts the burden on the alien applicant to prove he or she qualifies:

Only those individuals who can prove through verifiable documentation that they meet these criteria will be eligible for deferred action. Individuals will not be eligible if they are not currently in the United States and cannot prove that they have been physically present in the United States for a continuous period of not less than five years immediately preceding today's date. The use of prosecutorial discretion confers no substantive right or pathway to citizenship. Only the Congress, acting through its legislative authority, can confer these rights.

This isn't the first time Crane has played fast and loose with the facts in an effort to undercut the administration. Last year he openly deplored ICE Director John Morton's prosecutorial discretion policy which, frankly, empowered ICE agents to focus their efforts on arresting and removing dangerous criminal aliens in an effort to keep America safer.

Crane's reaction to the administration's enforcement priorities shows that the union's leadership, apparently out of touch with its own members, is hell bent on maintaining the status quo -- indiscriminate arrest, detention, prosecution, and deportation of immigrants -- without thinking about what's best for America. Where was Mr. Crane earlier this year when it was reported that the administration deported over a million people, more than any administration before it? Nor has Crane said a word about the fact that since Mr. Obama took office in 2009, illegal border crossings have dropped to their lowest point since the 1970s.

Crane's comments hardly reflect what the ICE union's rank and file think is good for America. They demonstrate the self-interested fears of an entrenched bureaucrat attempting, at all costs, to resist positive change; a desperate hold on a tired policy that has outlived its effectiveness. Unfortunately, for the ICE union's many hard working agents, Crane's knee-jerk, mutinous reaction to President Obama's immigration enforcement policies is narrow minded, short sighted, and misses the point. The danger to an American community is less likely to come from a gifted student than from a dangerous felon or terrorist.

But where does Crane come off attempting to set administration policy? Since when does the soldier tell the general what to do? It is nothing less than shameful, indeed scandalous, that this ICE bureaucrat would work in cahoots with the president's political opponents to thwart legitimate policy objectives. Crane's statements are chalk-full of unsubstantiated allegations and vitriolic language but short on considered analysis. Not surprisingly, Crane offers no immigration policy solutions.

President Obama's Deferred Action program is hardly the answer to a dysfunctional immigration law badly in need of repair. That's Congress' job and, hopefully, one day soon it will deliver a safe, orderly, and fair immigration policy which will keep America secure and prosperous.

As for ICE Agent Christopher Crane, it's high time his superiors demand his badge and show him the door.