‘Another Broken Promise’: ICE Union Blasts Trump Administration’s Immigration Incompetence

“They can’t change and they can’t innovate,” Chris Crane said.

Chris Crane, the head of the National Immigration and Customs Enforcement Council—a union representing about 7,600 ICE officers—blasted Donald Trump’s administration in an interview with Quartz over what he described as a continuation of incompetence carried over from prior administrations.

Though the union supported Trump in 2016 on the grounds only he could “put politics aside to fix the problem,” Crane said the government is “still playing by the same failed playbook.” 

“They can’t change and they can’t innovate,” Crane said. “They said they would work with boots on the ground people in the field and they didn’t do it.”

Crane said the agency has “absolutely no input” in the appointment of Ron Vitiello as the new ICE director, calling it “another broken promise.”

Crane also said ICE agents “never supported” Trump’s decision to separate undocumented immigrants from their children.

 “The priorities are always going to be criminals, and fugitives,” Crane said, adding the agency is “going to make arrests” when they come across undocumented immigrants in the course of their work.

“You can’t have the message out on the street that if you’re just there illegally, we’re just going to ignore you,” Crane said. “Otherwise, they’re just going to keep coming. That’s the wrong message to send to the world.”

Crane said even under Trump, there’s a disconnect between leadership and agents not eh ground.

 “Most of those people in headquarters have never been out in the field at all,” Crane said. 

“They have no clue what we do,” he continued “There’s no connection between the officers in the field and the leadership,” he said.


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Elizabeth Preza is the Managing Editor of AlterNet. Follow her on Twitter @lizacisms.