ICE Agent Union President Claims White House Inflates Deportation Numbers

Chris Crane, president of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers union, spoke to Mark Levin on The Mark Levin Show Thursday evening. Crane recently testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee regarding the immigration bill working through Congress.

Crane explained how President Obama and Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano have, since the administration’s start, “attempted to shut down” border enforcement and “absolutely” tied law enforcement’s hands.

When Levin asked how their hands are tied, Crane explained, as an example, that ICE agents are not allowed (despite having the vested authority to do so by Congress) to arrest an individual they suspect to be an illegal alien, an illegal alien gang member, or illegal alien criminal. Instead, they are reportedly under orders to wait until the individual commits a crime, is arrested by another law enforcement agency (such as local police), jailed, and only then may an immigration agent speak with the individual. 

Additionally, the deportation process can only begin if the individual has been convicted of three or more criminal offenses.

When Levin asked if this is a huge change from previous administrations, Crane responded: “Absolutely, it’s a dramatic change.”

Despite the Obama Administration’s claims of robust border enforcement and record-high ICE deportation numbers, Crane noted how the administration actually cooks the books and inflates deportation numbers. Data that Crane obtained demonstrates that, since 2008, ICE arrests and deportations “have plummeted.” 

Crane explained how it works: Border Patrol (a separate agency from ICE) makes an arrest on the border, but instead of handling the deportation itself, Border Patrol hands the detainee over to ICE to deport the individual, thereby inflating the number of ICE deportations. Crane described it as a “shell game” that allows what would normally be a mere "turn-back" to be counted as a formal "deportation," thus inflating the deportation statistics.

Crane also noted that, while Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) has met with him, he has received “no response at all” to his requests for meetings with the other three Republican "Gang of 8" senators: Jeff Flake (R-AZ), John McCain (R-AZ), and Lindsey Graham (R-SC). When Levin remarked that these senators nonetheless have had time to meet with the National Council of La Raza, Crane claimed: “Those groups are now running our agency... That’s why we’re not arresting people, that’s why we can’t do our jobs – it’s because they’re basically embedded in running our agency.”

A "disgusted" Levin called the information “stunning” and noted: “How in the hell are we supposed to get behind any so-called immigration bill when you just heard what Chris Crane had to say?... Folks! All hands on deck! Now’s the time to fight this!”


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