Two large unions representing federal workers have come out publicly in opposition to the immigration reform bill. Union leaders claim the immigration bill does not specify a necessary security enforcement plan nor will it be beneficial to U.S. workers.
The union leaders are representing workers at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration services. They sent a letter to lawmakers about the Senate bill claiming it will not strengthen security at the U.S. border. It purportedly fails to address problems that law enforcement and immigration officials have voiced and faults the Gang of Eight who drafted the legislation. “As a result, the legislation before us may have many satisfactory components for powerful lobbying groups and other special interests, but on the subjects of public safety, border security, and interior enforcement, this legislation fails,” wrote Chris Crane, president of the National ICE Council. The bureaucracy of the bill is also concerning to the leaders who say the officers are pressured to approve all applications rather than check that requirements are met according to the bill.
The letter is signed by sheriffs and large influential law enforcement groups. The criticism of the legislation is mainly focused on not establishing tougher border security measures. The 11 million undocumented immigrants who currently reside in the U.S. and who will have citizenship within the next 13 year period is an independent condition and union leaders fear lawmakers will work around the security provision. Currently, the bill gives 180 days for the Department of Homeland Security secretary to submit a $4.5 billion plan for strengthening border security. If this plan is unsuccessful, a commission will reassess the situation and make recommendations. “Those recommendations may very well be ignored,” the letter said. “In summary, [the bill] appears to provide no tangible provisions for increased border security.”
In our view, the union members’ claim that the bill ignores security is ludicrous. The proposed legislation contains pages and pages of requirements regarding border security, enforcement, drones, fences, etc. The fact is that the federal immigration employees have been working to thwart meaningful immigration reform for years. Perhaps this is to protect the employees over the greater good.
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