Department of Homeland Security Sec. Jeh Johnson says he does not know who U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services union head Kenneth Palinkas is.
Palinkas, the president of the National Citizenship and Immigration Services Council representing 12,000 immigration adjudicators and caseworkers, has been a vocal about the problems facing USCIS and a frequent critic of the Obama administration’s executive amnesty.
“We are still the world’s rubber-stamp for entry into the United States – regardless of the ramifications of the constant violations to the Immigration and Nationality Act,” Palinkas warned in October ahead of the President’s executive amnesty. “Whether it’s the failure to uphold the public charge laws, the abuse of our asylum procedures, the admission of Islamist radicals, or visas for health risks, the taxpayers are being fleeced and public safety is being endangered on a daily basis.”
Despite Palinkas’ public proclamations and cautions, he has not been among the officials with whom Johnson has met.
“I spend a lot of time myself on the southern border with our men and women in uniform in the Border Patrol because I want to hear directly from them what they say is happening on the southern border. I’m not interested in intermediaries,” Johnson said during questioning by Sen. Jeff Sessions at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Tuesday.
“Have you met with Chris Crane, the head of the ICE association?” Sessions asked.
Johnson indicated that he had met with Crane “at least once in my headquarter’s office I invited him to come in and I believe there was probably at least one other time as well.”
When asked if Johnson had met with Palinkas, Johnson responded, “I don’t recall that name.”
“These are the top people and you’ve got the lowest morale in the government in your agency and the reason is because they know you’re not serious in supporting them in the mission that they’ve been given,” Sessions said.