The Conversation

Rubio Met With ICE Officials Back In April - Ignored Their Recommendations

In response to Rubio's Big Immigration "Mistake":

But here is the problem with Rubio’s statement about reaching out to border patrol agents. Rubio doesn’t say when he met with these agents, leaving us to assume that he is referring to his visit to the U.S. border  on  November 4, 2011. This visit to the southern border was well over a year before the immigration reform bill was introduced.

He finally met with Chris Crane, the president of the ICE Union back in  April to get input from ICE agents . I wrote about it, here. Crane had been complaining that the bill was being crafted behind closed doors, without consulting the people who should be most involved - immigration law enforcement. He appeared on Greta Van Susteren's show, On The Record, to talk about that on April 12.

Yesterday, at the 11th hour,  Senator Marco Rubio's office finally called and set up a phone call to get the ICE union’s input, which only gives them the weekend to go over the entire thing.

“How are we going to have time to go through this 1,500 pages of legislation and have an impact?” Crane wondered.

He went on to ask, “why do we have the AFL-CIO and the Chamber of Commerce, basically big unions and big business that really don’t have the experience or insight that we have – why are they behind closed doors in these secret meetings, having a part in this legislation, and law enforcement doesn’t?”

Greta suggested that Rubio’s move might have been a cynical ploy to show that he had reached out to ICE before his appearances on the Sunday talk shows he’s scheduled to appear on, tomorrow.

At Big Government, Matthew Boyle wrote about a meeting with officials, including ICE agents’ union president Chris Crane on April 27. 

Rubio did meet with Crane for about an hour the night before the Gang of Eight dropped the bill at 2:25 a.m. However, he cannot point to any changes to the bill itself before it was submitted incorporating Crane's feedback.

The morning after that meeting, which occurred on a Monday night, Crane wrote to Rubio asking him to delay the rollout of the bill to ensure the concerns he and his ICE agents had with it could be addressed. “As you know, and speaking on behalf of our nation’s ICE agents and officers, I believe there are many crucial measures missing from this legislation that must be resolved before it is introduced,” Crane wrote to Rubio in a letter obtained by Breitbart News. “Based on news reports, it is my understanding that you are filing the bill today."

Crane then laid out an extensive list of issues he hoped Rubio would address based on their talk:

I hope that can be delayed so that our officers and experts can provide real legislative input on the areas we discussed last night: the lack of ICE resources, how current ICE enforcement practices leave the nation open to tactics used by the 9/11 terrorists, DHS directives that release dangerous criminal aliens back into our communities; the need for biometric exit/entry, the administration’s dangerous abuse of prosecutorial discretion, our inability to make street arrests, the breakdown of enforcement in our jails, the disciplining of officers for doing their jobs – these are only some of the many crucial interior enforcement issues not addressed in this legislation.

Crane added that he believed the bill “would further hamstring the ability of our officers to protect the public,” and the “things that simply must be in this bill to help us protect lives” were just not in the bill.

Despite Crane’s letter, the "Gang of Eight" senators behind the bill submitted it at 2:25 on Wednesday morning anyway. 

At a press conference for law enforcement figures from around the country to criticize the bill, Crane criticized Rubio and the rest of the Gang of Eight for not meeting with him until the last minute and not including real law enforcement input into the bill. He also directly disagreed with Rubio's characterization of how this bill would impact ICE agents' ability to do their jobs. 


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