Chris Crane, the top union official for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents, is calling on Senator Marco Rubio to leave the so-called Gang of Eight negotiations on comprehensive immigration reform.
In a statement released Friday, Crane said the group’s plan would provide “amnesty for 11 million illegal aliens in the U.S. with no guaranteed commitment of ever providing for strengthened enforcement to prevent the problems of our current immigration situation from recurring.”
Crane observed that Rubio had previously indicated he would not accept a deal that does not follow an “enforcement first” approach, and noted Senator Chuck Schumer’s recent remarks that the Gang’s plan would seek a secure border after legalization is achieved. “I would then respectfully call on Senator Rubio to follow through on his commitment to the American people — and his pledge to accomplish enforcement first before legalization — and to leave the Gang of Eight,” Crane said.
“Every American should brace themselves for a piece of legislation from the Gang of Eight that, despite a lot of window dressing, will fail to do anything other than provide for amnesty and doom the U.S. to a constant flow of illegal immigrants,” he added. “My promise to America is that if we don’t have enforcement first — including both a secure border and robust interior enforcement — enforcement will never happen at all. We will be back here in ten years discussing the next amnesty.”
Crane also noted that ICE officers have requested meetings with the Gang of Eight, as well as the White House, but have been denied. This was a disturbing development, he argued, given the Gang’s outreach to big business and labor groups such as the Chamber of Commerce and the AFL-CIO. “To me, this demonstrates that the members of the Gang of Eight and the White House have no intention of seriously addressing enforcement issues within their proposed legislation,” he said.
UPDATE: Rubio spokesman Alex Conant emails a response to Crane’s statement.
“The proposal from the eight senators will be the start of the process, and we look forward to hearing proposals from the public and other senators on how it can be improved,” Conant writes. “Our hope is that rather than attacking something they haven’t seen, people will give good-faith consideration to the proposal after it’s introduced and suggest ways to improve it.”
“The border security and enforcement measures in our proposal will result in the toughest immigration and border enforcement in US history,” he adds. “There will be tough but achievable hurdles that tie border security directly to the pathway to citizenship, and if these triggers are not part of the legislation, there won’t be a bipartisan deal.”