In a bombshell hours before the Republican Presidential debate, officers for a second immigration agency are now warning America against Marco Rubio and are indicating support for GOP frontrunner Donald Trump.
Ken Palinkas—who served as the President of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Council during the Gang of Eight fight and is now a local chapter president for USCIS officers—weighed in on the fight between America’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers and Sen. Rubio.
In an exclusive interview with Breitbart News, Palinkas detailed the dangers a Rubio Administration would pose to national security and U.S. sovereignty—perhaps adding more trouble to an already embattled Rubio campaign.
“He’s the wolf in sheep’s clothing,” Palinkas told Breitbart—explaining that Rubio would “absolutely” represent President Obama’s third term on immigration.
“If God forbid he gets elected, I don’t see any change going in the direction that the Republican Party really professes to believe in. I think he would go in the opposite direction. Absolutely,” Palinkas said.
USCIS is the agency responsible for processing all immigration paperwork in the United States—including visas, green cards, and amnesty applications—and, therefore, is the backbone of America’s entire immigration system. During his time as former-President of the National USCIS Council, Palinkas represented 12,000 USCIS adjudications officers and staffers.
This agency is separate from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)—whose approximately 5,800 officers are represented by ICE Council President Chris Crane. While USCIS is responsible for processing all immigration paperwork, ICE is responsible for enforcing America’s interior immigration laws in all 50 states and U.S. territories. Last week, Sen. Rubio implicitly denounced ICE Officer Crane on national television after Crane detailed Rubio’s history of treating law enforcement “like absolute trash.”
Palinkas, who. like Crane, played an essential role in stopping Rubio’s Gang of Eight plan from becoming law, explained that the nation’s current immigration policies have turned America into the sacrificial “altar” for the world—and that a Rubio presidency would only “exacerbate” these policies.
“He was, to me, the biggest Democratic Republican I ever met in my life. I didn’t know how he could be a part of the Republican Party with that kind of a mindset,” Palinkas said of Rubio’s longstanding position on immigration. “I don’t know what he bases his policies on other than—they are so liberal minded that I don’t know if he’s in the right party. I don’t know how else to say it.”
That is why, Palinkas says, he’s voting for GOP frontrunner Donald Trump. “I am going to vote for him because I’ve had enough,” Palinkas explained. “I just really sincerely believe he’s got the best intentions for America at heart and I know that he’s the best candidate out there. There’s no doubt in my mind.”
As a representative and spokesman for USCIS officers, Palinkas says that he is not alone in his support for Donald Trump. “I know a lot of officers that I work with in New York alone that would [vote for Trump], but even nation-wide— [they] believe something’s got to be done. Enough is enough. Absolutely… I was [previously USCIS] Council President… and as the president of the local [chapter] here, I can speak on behalf of several of the members who would absolutely be in favor of Mr. Trump getting elected.”
In contrast to a Trump Presidency, Palinkas said that Rubio Presidency would pose a clear national security threat to America: “His main claim to fame is that he was on those [Senate Intelligence and Foreign Relations] Committees—you know, when he showed up— because I know he has a record of not showing up that much. But [when] he was [at]… these Senate Committees, I don’t know what he took to those meetings— if and when he attended,” Palinkas said, explaining that Rubio’s immigration proposals would greatly endanger national security.
“From seeing him in the past,” Palinkas said, “I couldn’t believe any platform… he advocates now is going to exist if he gets elected because I can see him going in a completely opposite direction if it suits him for his political gain.”
The immigration proposals of Sen. Rubio and progressive Democrats would “open up a floodgate of more and more people,” Palinkas warned.
Palinkas explained that Rubio’s policies—and, in particular, his longstanding support for DREAM amnesty— are “going to exacerbate an already overloaded situation. We can’t account for what’s here as it is and now let’s let more people have the opportunity to come in under a different venue? It just doesn’t make any common sense.”
Palinkas suggested that the reason Rubio is now advocating these policies is out of an effort to pander for votes in the general election: “He claims he’s the new kid on the block, the sheriff, this, that. Look, he’s a typical politician. He’s playing for his audience—which, let’s be honest—is basically the Latin American population in the United States.”
Palinkas explained that Rubio’s mindset on this issue is not that much different than progressive Leftists: “I live in New York, and believe it or not, in the city of New York to vote for the New York council, the mayor, this, that— there’s a bill pending where illegal aliens should have the right to vote. I kid you not. That’s how far left everything’s gone. Nothing’s being kept in check. And DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents) and deferred action for the children, arriving aliens—all these things were put in place with the mindset to open up the doors. And allow basically everybody the right to remain in the United States and circumvent laws that were on the books for years— decades. And the problem is that because we can’t enforce those laws, we just give in. That’s how you handle it? We can enforce those laws, but they choose not to—that’s the difference. That’s the problem.”
Palinkas confirmed that Chris Crane’s account of Sen. Rubio’s treatment of immigration and law enforcement was indeed accurate. Palinkas said that Rubio— who recently declared that Crane is “not an ICE official. He’s the head of a union” and suggested that Crane is pushing “conspiracy” theories— is now trying to discredit Crane in order to avoid discussing his record: “I think the reason why he [Rubio] wants to put Chris Crane in a certain light is because he doesn’t recognize the fact that he basically told us one thing and was planning on doing something completely different. His intention was not sincere.”
Palinkas defended Crane’s status as an ICE officer of 13 years and explained that Rubio’s suggestion that Crane’s position in the union should make his voice invalid does not make sense. Indeed, by Rubio’s logic, America should similarly not hear the concerns of other law enforcement unions such as the Fraternal Order of the Police.
“Rubio’s totally lost the boat there,” Palinkas said. “Chris Crane is an ICE officer, first. That’s his job. There’s no distinction… We are not a separate entity as union officials—we are employees of the federal government… That’s a negotiated item so that we can represent [officers] in their job functions.”
In an interview published last week, Crane explained how Rubio “actively chose to exclude” ICE and law enforcement from the process of writing the Gang of Eight bill “because of his own personal agenda.” Crane detailed how Rubio only agreed to meet with him a few hours before the Gang of Eight introduced their bill. Palinkas confirmed this account—explaining that while Rubio sought the input of big business and special interest groups when crafting his bill, he did not get input from immigration and law enforcement. Indeed, while Rubio waited until just before introducing the bill to meet with Crane, Rubio did not meet with Palinkas until after the bill was already introduced—meaning that Rubio’s bill did not receive input from the officers responsible for processing all of the nation’s immigration paperwork.
Palinkas explained that when he was finally given a meeting with Sen. Rubio, it was clear that Rubio had no intention of remedying the situation by taking their suggestions to improve the bill.
When he met with us I don’t think it was to apologize for anything… he was trying to cover his tracks after the fact. That’s the impression I was left with… When I met Marco Rubio—I met him doing one series of meetings when he wanted to meet [representatives from] Homeland Security and wanted to assure us and get our input when he was involved in that Gang of Eight plan to reform immigration law. He wanted our input so that he wasn’t bypassing us, but—in essence—how it turned out and what I noticed is that Mr. Rubio flip-flopped on everything. He just wasn’t reliable.
“From that day forward I had not trust in that man. And I still don’t,” Palinkas explained. “He’s a politician… he flip-flops on everything he presents. He’s been known to do that from the moment I met him.”
Palinkas echoed Crane’s assertion that Rubio misrepresented the contents of his bill to the American people. Palinkas rejects Rubio’s repeated assertion that the Obama-backed bill was the “toughest” immigration enforcement bill in U.S. history. “He was patting himself on the back for something that would have been a big disaster. I’m glad it got defeated,” Palinkas said.
One need only look at Sen. Rubio’s donors, Palinkas argued, for “evidence” of the type of immigration policies Rubio will enact as President—specifically, some of the same people who funded Rubio’s immigration bill are now funding his campaign.
It’s evidence of the reality that those same people are backing him because they were probably told by him: ‘Hey, I get in there, I will make sure these policies mirror what I intended to do in the Gang of Eight.’ I would definitely say that’s the reason why they would back him. Why would you back somebody if you’re not going to get something out of it? […] I would suspect that they’re backing Rubio because the intention there is to carry out that same policies that get waylaid down the road somewhere. Because big business [thinks] ‘Listen I can get that illegal alien who know has status can work for a lot less money than an American. That’s for sure, I ‘ll be making a lot more money, won’t I?’ That’s what I think that’s all about.
When discussing Trump versus Rubio on immigration, Palinkas was unequivocal. He explained that “absolutely” Trump is right on immigration and Rubio is wrong:
Absolutely. No doubt in my mind… Personally I think that’s why [Trump] is gaining so much momentum. Because people realize that’s the only way we can win back America and make it strong again. Because we’re the laughing stock of the world, we’re the altar of the world, just dump whatever you want there and let the Americans figure it out and then they can bleed our systems dry.
Crane pointed specifically to our refugee programs, which allow migrants who have been in the country for a just a few short years to receive the same benefits as Americans who have been paying into the system for generations:
A lot of people don’t understand that they’re not becoming citizens for the right reasons and we are allowing these systems to promulgate and exist in this underlying world that is immigration. These people that immigrate here legally or illegally— they know the system more so than some of officers. Trust me on that. They know about changes quicker than we do. They have a network.
Palinkas detailed some of the difficulties USCIS officers face on a daily basis—noting that they are now forced to work as “customer service” agents for aliens. Palinkas explained that this is the same mindset from which Sen. Rubio approaches immigration.
This is what I deal with on a regular basis: I come into work, they have me—now they want me to do customer service. Customer service [for aliens]… like you’re in a store… They’re looking for a benefit and we’re bending over backwards to give it to them. And I don’t see what the purpose is. You know if you can’t control the flow, if you just keep piling things on—the hamsters in the wheel can only do so many spins, you know?
And we’re so overworked, so overworked, and we have to go to so many systems to do a simple response much like I just told you. And you could have an alien who applied a month ago and already they’re in the system asking, ‘What happened to my case?’ You have to respond to it. It’s just a complete waste of time. This whole thing about customer service and ‘let’s be friend’. I mean, I just say we should be more stringent about who we’re giving benefits to and you know who we think our customers are—they’re not customers. But that’s the mindset of USCIS. We’ve been instructed to have customer service unit, that’s how far fetched it’s gone… The same mindset stems from Rubio.
Indeed, during the first Republican debate, Marco Rubio said that the people who do not get enough attention in determining U.S. immigration policy are the foreign citizens living in foreign countries, who apparently call Sen. Rubio’s office to seek representation and complain about the wait time to enter the United States. Rubio said, “And let me tell you who never gets talked about in these debates. The people that call my office, who have been waiting for 15 years to come to the United States. And they’ve paid their fees, and they hired a lawyer, and they can’t get in.”
Palinkas warned that if USCIS is forced to continue at this pace and must capitulate to aliens who “have this sense of entitlement” to be in the country, then another San Bernardino is “inevitable… We can’t even control whose coming in—we don’t know whose here. And that’s why were going to have more incidents like San Bernardino—it’s going to happen. It’s inevitable.”
Palinkas, who–for years–has warned that migrants will exploit the nation’s expansive visa programs, told Breitbart that our immigration policies are “opening the doors for a very tragic situation to occur.” Palinkas said that unless we change our current immigration policies, another San Bernardino is “inevitable because there’s not enough checks and balances to stop it”:
It starts at the border… [we] can’t control the ebb and flow at the border—and that’s just one way they get. You know, there’s fraudulent documents—so they can get in on any airline, any passenger ship, there’s so many ways in. They’re worried about the Mexican border– I worry about the Canadian border! There are so many ways in. We’re so porous and we can’t account for whose here, yet we can’t stop the flow. Where does it end? And then the government turns around and tells ICE officers: ‘Hey, you can’t go around and apprehend people. They’re not priorities. Let them go. So it’s like— look the other way even though they’re breaking the law. We want you to turn your attention elsewhere.’ So what it does is it’s alleviating the responsibility of these people who have broken the law because they don’t have to go to anybody, they don’t’ have to report to anybody. They’re here and they can keep coming. You know they have no obligations to even tell us that they’re here. We’re just opening the doors for a very tragic situation to occur. And the terrorists know this.
Palinkas said that the problem is not simply a matter of what happens at the border, but also stems from legally admitting large flows of what Andrew McCarthy has described as assimilation-resistant Muslim migrants. Palinkas said that he supports Trump’s proposal to temporarily pause Muslim migration into the United States:
I don’t know how these people… [who are] born here and get convinced to radicalize. I don’t understand that whole process other than to firmly believe it was always there to begin with… I grew up in Bay Bridge Brooklyn. And Bay Bridge Brooklyn was basically Irish, Italian, German, Scandinavian, whatever— but the block I lived on there were five Arab families mostly from Syria. There was none of this. We weren’t worried about terrorism back in those days. It was not something to worry about, and all those people assimilated and became good hard working Americans. So yes, I know it can be done. But you can’t expect it to be done in this kind of world now. The world has changed. You have to adapt to the change. You can’t be a bleeding-heart liberal and say, ‘Hey, look at the Statue of Liberty’ and say, ‘[Take in] the downtrodden.’ Yeah, we’re all for that, but you know what? Those people are not who are coming in—they’re not. It’s people who are looking for a better life? Yes, I understand all that, that’s good stuff, but you’ve got a lot of people who are coming in for the wrong reason—and it’s got to be check and balances—you’ve got to start somewhere, you’ve got to start at the border…
And if you have to stereotype— well, you know what—the very fabric of American existence is at stake. So I’m all for whatever you have to do to maintain a Democratic America. And by that I mean, I understand this whole thing about barring people of a certain religion but, you know what, you need to look at these people… you need to know… You really need to scrutinize the situation… And I don’t think that’s being discriminatory. I think it’s necessary.
Palinkas said that many of his fellow USCIS officers are similarly supporting Trump because:
The frustration levels are so high—because we see things that go on. These children now they let in— where the parents abandon them supposedly from Mexico and then they come across the border— you know, come on! Now they have a foothold in the United States—it’s a scam! It’s just a scam, we all believe that. There’s that fine line of being empathetic and humanitarian. And sure there’s going to be those cases that are legit, but they’re few and far between in comparison. We just keep making new policies up that are going to backfire on us in the long run.
“I just hope,” Palinkas says chuckling, “that he [Trump] gets a speech writer, just to tone him down a little bit… but he won’t do it because that’s just who he is. I mean, he shoots from the hip.” Palinkas laughs. “I don’t really worry that he’s going to say anything [bad]— because he’s said a lot of things that are kind of border line, and people will say, ‘Well, wait a minute now—’ But you know what? He’s still doing well, so I don’t think you mess with success. And I just really sincerely believe he’s got the best intentions for America at heart and I know that he’s the best candidate out there. There’s no doubt in my mind.”