It is not often that unions, which tend to be Democrat-friendly, stand up to the liberal Obama administration. But that is what has happened at the union that represents thousands of federal deportation officers.
The administration has ordered the release of potentially hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens under a plan that requires deportation officers to weigh literally dozens of factors when deciding whether to move cases forward. Some immigration officials reportedly are now afraid to make immigration arrests at all.
The new policy has infuriated the union representing deportation officers at Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE. The union, the National ICE Council, is troubled that the president is pandering to pro-illegal-immigration activists. The head of the union said the order to free illegal aliens forces immigration officials to ignore the law.
"Law enforcement and public safety have taken a back seat to attempts to satisfy immigrant advocacy groups," union President Chris Crane told a congressional panel.
That criticism is valid. It may not be realistic to round up all the millions of illegal aliens in the United States. But it is demoralizing that many of those whom our nation already has gone to the effort and expense to detain for deportation will be freed. That is amnesty, no matter what the administration may call it.
And while the president's permissive approach supposedly applies only to illegal aliens with otherwise clean records, the training to implement the policy shows it is even more lax. In one hypothetical case, officers are instructed to close deportation proceedings against an illegal alien who has been convicted of shoplifting and lies about that when she is caught driving without a license, The New York Times reported. In another, officers are told they should close the case of an illegal alien who was ordered to appear at a court hearing years ago but never showed up. Would you get such leniency if you skipped a court date?
The president's plan "is expected to lead in coming months to unprecedented suspensions of deportations of tens of thousands of illegal immigrants," the Times noted.
That gravely flouts the rule of law.