According a report by the Associated Press, political appointees at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) repeatedly instructed Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents not to arrest an illegal alien sex offender who was employed as an unpaid intern in the office of Senator Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) until after the elections. If confirmed, this overtly political act further demonstrates the shocking politicization of immigration enforcement under the current DHS leadership, charged the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).
“The Department of Homeland Security knew that Luis Sanchez Zavaleta was both an illegal alien and a registered sex offender as early as October. Nevertheless, high ranking DHS officials placed electoral politics ahead of public safety and the law, when they instructed ICE agents not to arrest Mr. Sanchez until after the 2012 elections,” said Dan Stein, president of FAIR.
These latest actions of DHS officials ratify charges by career ICE agents that the Obama administration is recklessly disregarding immigration law. In a 2010 press release, the union representing ICE agents accused DHS and ICE leadership of having “abandoned the Agency’s core mission of enforcing United States immigration laws and providing for public safety” and have instead focused their attention on promoting amnesty for illegal aliens.
“This case calls into question the ability of Secretary Janet Napolitano to serve as the nation’s top immigration enforcement official,” stated Stein. “There is now even greater doubt than before about whether Secretary Napolitano and those around her can be trusted to faithfully execute the responsibilities of their offices. Based on the allegations of the ICE officers and strong evidence that DHS leadership interfered in a criminal arrest for political reasons, there must be a full and independent investigation.”
Today’s revelations also underscore the inherent dangers in granting illegal aliens amnesty, whether through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, the DREAM Act, or a “comprehensive” immigration reform bill. The fact that it was local law enforcement officers who tipped off the federal government regarding Mr. Sanchez, plus the different treatment juvenile offenders receive, demonstrates that the federal government may in fact have no idea whether an amnesty beneficiary is in fact a criminal.
“It has been clear for years that the Obama administration has been politicizing enforcement of U.S. immigration laws. The case of Mr. Sanchez, and the manner in which it was reportedly dealt with by DHS, raises serious questions about whether our immigration laws are being subverted to serve the political aims of this administration,” Stein concluded.
The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) is a national, nonprofit, public-interest, membership organization of concerned citizens who share a common belief that our nation’s immigration policies must be reformed to serve the national interest.
Visit FAIR’s website at www.fairus.org.