Without public notice, on May 14, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) increased the number of agents tasked with finding and deporting undocumented immigrants with criminal records.
The timing of the move has some thinking it is merely a political/reelection ploy from by President Obama, as deporting “criminal illegals” allows him to address immigration without really addressing it. While many call for changes in the immigration system with things like the DREAM Act, the government is able to point to the deportation of undocumented criminals and say immigration is being addressed.
Another theory is that as a result slowing illegal immigration, the number of deportations is down, leaving ICE short of a quota, as a each team, up to 129 from 104, has a “goal” of arresting 50 suspects each month.
However, ICE officials have insisted that no such quotas were set.
It seems even those within ICE are having trouble with the increase in manpower.
According to the Los Angeles Times:
“Our officers in the field are being told by senior-level managers that this is politically motivated to bump up the numbers during an election year for the Obama administration,” said Chris Crane, president of the National ICE Council, a union that represents approximately 7,300 ICE employees.
“During this administration, every year we are restricted from doing our jobs during the year and then at the end of the fiscal year we have to pull some kind of stunt to pull our numbers back up,” said Crane.