Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton announced his resignation, today, saying he will leave his post at the end of July. The embattled ICE director is slated to take a position at a private company.
In 2010, following Morton’s memo to law enforcement directing them to stop enforcing immigration laws, amounting to “de-facto amnesty”, the ICE Union, (National Immigration and Customs Enforcement Council) cast a unanimous no-confidence vote against him, 259-0.
Last March, in a move that was described as a cost-savings measure required by the budget sequester, Morton oversaw the release of thousands of incarcerated illegal immigrants back onto the streets, hundreds of whom had violent criminal records.
The release of illegal immigrant criminals sparked outrage among law enforcement officers and Republican lawmakers.
Pinal County Sheriff, Paul Babeu noted that among those released were criminals who had been “convicted not just charged – convicted for weapons violations, drug smuggling, drug dealers, (these are people who have been in fights, and aggravated assaults against police officers)…. How in the world can you say these are low risk, non criminal detainees?! These are the worst of the worst. These are people who have been convicted of child molestation! We have people who have been released, I’ve been told by ICE agents, who have been charged with man-slaughter.”
Congressman Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) raked Morton over the coals in a hearing on March 19, charging that the dangerous release was political in nature.