LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A union leader for employees of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement says Americans need to “brace themselves” after the department released a memo outlining “procedural discretion” for arresting illegal immigrants.
The memo issued on June 17 informs ICE officials that they do not have to necessarily detain or deport illegal immigrants if they are enrolled in school, have family members in the U.S. military, or even if they are pregnant or nursing.
The guidelines also appear to suggest favorable consideration be given to those “who have graduated from a U.S. high school or have successfully pursued or are pursuing a college or advanced degrees at a legitimate institution of higher education in the United States” even if they are in the country illegally.
Chris Crane, President of the National ICE Council, which represents approximately 7,000 ICE agents, officers and employees, said the memo is only the latest in what has been a series of policy missteps for the agency.
“Any American concerned about immigration needs to brace themselves for what’s coming,” said Crane. “This is just one of many new ICE policies in queue aimed at stopping the enforcement of U.S. immigration laws in the United States.
Crane also said that gross mismanagement and efforts within ICE to create backdoor amnesty through agency policy were behind the no-confidence vote against ICE Director John Morton in June of 2010.
But with the release of this latest memo, Crane warns voters need to take matters to their elected representatives in order to avoid what he calls “secret changes” to immigration policy.
“We are asking everyone to please email or call your Congressman and Senators immediately and ask them to help stop what’s happening at ICE,” said Crane. “We desperately need your help.”