Republican Members of Congress – letter to ICE DIRECTOR John Morton (and use the description “unconscionable”)

by Greta Van Susteren

Jun 26 2012 - 3:25 PM ET

I received the below information from FNC’s Chad Pergram. Worth noting that the Members of Congress use the term “unconscionable” and state that only violent cartels and human traffickers win under the Obama Administration decision to rescind 287(g) [and only as it relates to Arizona.]

Fox has obtained a letter from Reps. Paul Gosar (R-AZ), Dave Schweikert (R-AZ) and Trent Franks (R-AZ) sent to ICE Head John Morton, protesting the assertion that ICE won’t enforce immigration policies as a result of Monday’s SCOTUS ruling on SB 1070. They all this decision “dismaying.” Say that the effort not to enforce those policies in Arizona is “purely retalitatory.”

Letter below

The Honorable John Morton


U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

500 12th St., SW

Washington, D.C. 20536

Dear Director Morton:

I write in response to what appears to be the Administration’s declaration of war against Arizona. Rather than work cooperatively with the states, as federalism requires, the Administration unwisely decided to unilaterally and abruptly terminate multiple agreements under a program that fostered federal-state cooperation in tackling a very difficult public safety threat to Americans. The violent drug cartels and human traffickers are the only ones who win under the Administration’s decision. The June 25th decision by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to rescind seven 287(g) Task Force Memorandums of Agreement (MOA) with Arizona law enforcement agencies as a direct result of the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold a portion of the Arizona immigration law is unconscionable. In your announcement to Congressional offices, the agency claimed that these agreements were no longer “useful” in States that have adopted immigration enforcement laws like Arizona Senate Bill 1070. Our constituents and the hard working law enforcement officers responsible for keeping them safe in the face of growing cross border threats could not disagree more.

The 287(g) program is an innovative program which authorizes federal partnerships with local law enforcement agencies to tackle local threats posed by illegal immigration. According to ICE itself, the 287(g) program has already resulted in the detention and removal of thousands of convicted criminal aliens.

Monday’s announcement was therefore dismaying, not only because it will take away a critical public safety tool for communities bearing the brunt of criminal alien activity, but because of the unfortunate political context in which it was delivered. The suspension of all 287(g) task force agreements in Arizona, as a direct stated result of the Supreme Court’s ruling, furthers the federal government’s long standing failure to secure our Southern border. Section 2B of the Arizona state law simply allows law enforcement officers to check a person’s immigration status while enforcing other laws if “reasonable suspicion” exists that the person is in the United States illegally. We believe that Arizona Senate Bill 1070, and other similar state immigration laws, are good faith efforts to address a growing problem of illegal immigration in states gravely struggling with the public safety ramifications thereof. Federal partnerships such as 287(g) are more useful in these key areas and not less. We cannot help but surmise that the rescission of 287(g) across the state was purely retaliatory.

We strongly urge you to reconsider your decision and maintain the memorandums of agreement for 287(g) Task Forces across Arizona. The current course of action puts Arizona citizens in grave danger. Additionally, we believe if the agency maintains a philosophy of non cooperation with states that enact aggressive immigration laws that are otherwise consistent with federal immigration law, the agency stands to put millions of Americans in the same grave danger.


Chad Pergram

Senior Producer

U.S. House of Representatives

FOX News

Republican Members of Congress – letter to ICE DIRECTOR John Morton (and use the description “unconscionable”) « Gretawire