The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) agencies have the last say in who should be deported and who should not. But if they don’t follow priorities set by President Barack Obama’s administration, illegal immigrants are encouraged to tell on them. This doesn’t sit well with the Border Patrol union which says the priorities undermine the work of its members.
DHS’s Customs and Border Protection, which oversees Border Patrol, sent a message to stakeholders last week advising illegal immigrants of a hotline they can use to file a complaint if they believe they are slated for deportation even if they are not a priority target, Washington Times reported.
The National Border Patrol Council, Border Patrol agents union, kicked up a storm about it on Friday.
“Unfortunately, instead of supporting our agents, this administration has decided it is more important to find new ways to solicit complaints and invite ridicule against them,” the union’s statement reads.
With Obama’s November Executive Order on immigration, DHS received guidelines on who it should target for deportation: terrorists, criminals, and people who entered illegally after Jan. 1, 2014.
But the guidelines also state they shouldn’t be “construed to prohibit or discourage the apprehension, detention, or removal of aliens unlawfully in the United States who are not identified as priorities.”
Since the DHS doesn’t have enough money to deport every illegal immigrant, it is common for the department to set priorities.
But the union blames the administration for putting priorities in place in a way that hamstrings the agents and forces them to ignore illegal immigrants who are not a priority.
The hotline inviting feedback from the illegal immigrants then adds insult to injury.
“If you believe you (or a family member) were apprehended and processed by a Customs and Border Protection officer or Border Patrol agent contrary to the new DHS enforcement priorities, please tell us about your experience,” the Customs and Border Protection website states, listing several phone numbers.
The union suggests the DHS should instead create a mechanism for the Border Patrol agents to voice their complaints with the department.