Tags: Barack Obama | Homeland Security | Immigration | Ted Cruz | Jeh Johnson | workplace | retaliation

GOP Senators to DHS: Explain Punishment of Agents Who Obey Law

By    |   Wednesday, 01 Apr 2015 07:43 PM

Eight Republican senators have written to Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson seeking answers about allegations of workplace retaliation against employees who are "faithfully discharging" their immigration enforcement responsibilities contrary to President Barack Obama's executive amnesty policies, Breitbart reports.

Last month, Chris Cabrera, vice president of the National Border Patrol Council, local 3307, told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee that Border Patrol agents "who repeatedly report groups [of illegals] larger than 20 face retribution."

Management "will either take them out of the field and assign them to processing detainees at the station or assign them to a fixed position in low-volume areas as punishment," he said. "Needless to say, agents got the message and now stay below this 20-person threshold no matter the actual size of the group."

In their letter to Johnson, the senators — including Judiciary Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, chairman of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest — expressed concern over "multiple allegations of targeting and retaliation against DHS personnel" and said it was damaging employee morale at the agency.

They noted that during a Feb. 25 MSNBC/Telemundo town hall discussion, Obama indicated that immigration officers would be subject to punishment if they sought to enforce the law contrary to his executive amnesty policy.

Obama said there might be individual Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) or Border Patrol officials "who aren't paying attention to our new directives," the senators' letter noted.

"But they're going to be answerable to the head of the Department of Homeland Security, because he's been very clear about what our priorities should be," Obama added.

The president warned that "if somebody is working for ICE and there is a policy and they don't follow the policy, there are going to be consequences to it."

Not only "do the president's statements ignore the plain language of several immigration statutes that command DHS personnel to take certain actions relating to illegal aliens, [but] the comments seem to comport with a pattern and practice of threats toward DHS personnel who seek to fulfill their duties under the law," the senators wrote.

Such statements "also illustrate why morale levels among DHS personnel continue to remain near the bottom of all federal entities," they wrote.

The senators say they are aware of "multiple allegations of targeting and retaliation against DHS personnel who refuse to comply with this administration's willful disregard of our immigration laws — such as allegations made in lawsuits filed in federal court by an award-winning ICE attorney and by a group of 10 ICE officers and agents."

Chris Crane, president of the National ICE Council (a labor union representing ICE employees), has said that agency leadership is "punishing law enforcement officers who are just trying to uphold U.S. law" and is "willing to take away their retirement, their job, their ability to support their families in favor of someone who is here illegally and violating our laws."

The senators ask that Johnson provide information related to discipline of DHS employees during the past six years, including the legal authority DHS will rely on to penalize department personnel for "their failure to comply with an unlawful and unconstitutional order."

In addition to Grassley and Sessions, the letter was signed by GOP Sens. David Vitter, R-La., David Perdue , R- Ga., John Cornyn , R-Texas, Mike Lee, R-Utah, Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Thom Tillis, R- N.C.

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Eight Republican senators have written to Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson seeking answers about allegations of workplace retaliation against employees who are "faithfully discharging" their immigration enforcement responsibilities contrary to . . .
Jeh Johnson, workplace, retaliation, enforcement
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2015-43-01
Wednesday, 01 Apr 2015 07:43 PM
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