The Office of Inspector General at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is investigating who leaked confidential details of raids that the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency had planned last month.
Last month, ICE agents had planned a multi-city raid that would have seen the arrest and deportation of at least 2,000 illegal aliens who had final orders for removal — that is, did not qualify for any asylum or refugee status.
The planned raids, though, were called off after details were leaked to the national media.
In a statement to Breitbart News, an ICE spokesperson confirmed that the DHS Office of Inspector General is investigating who leaked the details of the raids to the media, putting ICE agents and the scheduled operation in jeopardy.
The spokesperson said:
Last month, ICE became aware of an apparent leak related to a planned enforcement operation. Leaks of law enforcement sensitive information jeopardize the safety of ICE officers and agents who have sworn an oath to uphold the law. ICE referred the incident to its Office of Professional Responsibility, which, in accordance with its normal procedures, referred it to the DHS Office of Inspector General.
At the time of the leaks, former ICE Director Thomas Homan accused Acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan of “resisting” the ICE operation.
Officials who spoke to Breitbart News on the condition of anonymity for fear of retribution said that internally at DHS, McAleenan has become known for leaking records to the media.
A law enforcement official said:
Over time, the acting secretary and his staff have developed a prolific reputation for leaking confidential, private or privileged information to the news media. This is well known, and the instance involving the disclosure of ICE operational details comes without much surprise. One must accept that McAleenan isn’t leaking to help his boss, which is a calculated risk.
Another official told Breitbart News that McAleenan’s leaking is “widely known,” claiming that the former Customs and Border Protection (CBP) commissioner would routinely leak federal data.
“It was widely known Kevin and his team constantly leaked sensitive information to the press while at a CBP,” the official said. “McAleenan always leaked the monthly border numbers and consistently undermined the Department’s ability to carry out its mission.”
Though a number of ICE operations had been scheduled this month, officials have reportedly struggled to execute their plans due to sanctuary cities being tipped off.
DHS did not respond to a request for comment in time for this publication.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.