Immigration and Customs Enforcement union president Chris Crane told reporters on Wednesday that the Mexican drug cartels’ influence inside the United States has been “almost completely absent” from the immigration reform debate but needs more attention.
“I mean, if these folks coming over here taking work, we know that the drug cartels’ troops and the soldiers are all within the interior of the United States as are many other criminal elements and criminal individuals,” Crane said on a conference call with media. “There are people coming here for this to be a land of opportunity and there are people coming here because this is a target of opportunity. We believe there is a very disproportionate number of criminals coming into the United States.”
Crane also said that “the majority of people we encounter are in possession of fraudulent documents, documents such as fake Social Security cards with real U.S. citizens’ Social Security numbers on them.”
Crane said this administration’s political leadership, including President Barack Obama, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and ICE director John Morton have hamstrung law enforcement agents from being able to do their jobs, and have made it impossible for ICE agents to enforce existing immigration law.
Crane pointed out that border security is only a part of any law enforcement solution that should be included in any immigration reform package. The Border Patrol enforces the law at the border, but ICE is supposed to enforce immigration law throughout the interior of the U.S., he said, but no current plans being proposed address that issue. Crane said that, without a comprehensive enforcement solution that will include allowing ICE agents to enforce current law, immigration problems will not ever be solved.