President Donald Trump’s Department of Homeland Security has deep-sixed an Obama-era program to have 21 taxpayer-funded agency officials cooperate with anti-deportation, pro-amnesty groups.
“The [21 officials’] job was to go meet politicians, Congress people, advocate groups, and local law enforcement,” complained Sarah Saldaña, a top DHS official from 2014 to early 2017. “Let them see you as a person, as opposed to big, bad ICE,” said Saldana, who created the cooperation program when she ran DHS’s U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement division from 2014 to 2017.
Trump’s DHS executives “really are taking away the [21 officials’] ability to go out in the community and do what it is that we were hoping they would get done,” Saldaña told Foreign Policy magazine. The “we” in her comment refers to the Democratic Party, which replaced by the pro-American Trump administration on January 20.
The 21 employees assigned to the program have now been assigned to Trump’s new Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE) Office, which helps Americans recover from the huge number of crimes inflicted by the illegal aliens who were allowed into the country during President Barack Obama’s eight-year tenure.
VOICE is just a “report your local illegal” program, Saldana responded. “From what I understand is being reported, it’s: ‘Oh, I see my next-door neighbor’s landscaper. He looks Mexican. I want to report him. Maybe someone ought to pick him up,'” said Saldana, who told a Capitol Hill panel in 2015 that ICE’s job was “public safety,” not actual enforcement of the nation’s popular immigration laws.
According to Foreign Policy:
Saldaña maintains that before Trump’s election ICE was poised to greatly expand the outreach program and “remove the curtain” from immigration enforcement activities. Community relations officers were being trained to assuage fear in immigrant communities with facts about the agency’s priorities and activities.
Since 2014, ICE’s focus has changed [from deporting illegals] to deporting violent criminals, gang members, and recent arrivals. Saldaña said this policy opened the door to building trust with a variety of community groups, encouraging them to report serious criminal activity …
“I was trying to go out to the communities and explain: ‘We are interested in criminals, not in the family of four who has been here 40 years and has not broken any other laws,'” Saldaña said.
Under Obama, federal officials slashed efforts to repatriate illegals and even foreign criminals.
DHS Secretary John Kelly directed the new policy change in a February 25, 2017 memo, where he said:
I direct the Director of ICE to immediately reallocate any and all resources that are currently used to advocate on behalf of illegal aliens (except as necessary to comply with a judicial order) to the new VOICE Office, and to immediately terminate the provision of such outreach or advocacy services to illegal aliens.
Analysts estimate that roughly 11 million illegal aliens are living in the United States. Roughly 8 million of the illegals hold jobs, which adds up to one job for each of the four million young Americans who turn 18 each year.
The illegals’ inclusion in the nation’s labor pool makes it harder for young Americans to get well-paid jobs, and annually transfers roughly $500 billion from employees to employers, according to George Borjas, a Harvard professor.
In addition, illegal immigrants inflict a huge number of crimes on Americans. For example, almost one-quarter of a million aliens were registered at Texas jails from June 2011 to May 2017. Their convictions included 496 murders, 26,000 assaults, 8,400 burglaries, 246 kidnappings and 2,900 sexual assaults.