Immigration and Customs Enforcement criminal investigators will no longer be involved in immigration work site enforcement or conduct checks for illegal alien prisoners.
Almost 1,000 ICE Office of Investigations agents will be reassigned exclusively to customs investigations, reducing the manpower involved in detention and removal of illegal aliens to 4,000 nationwide, according to documents obtained by The Washington Times and interviews with ICE union representatives.
ICE officials refused to comment on the internal documents or clarify the number of investigators that are to be reassigned.
The Washington Times has obtained an internal August memorandum written by ICE Office of Investigations Director Marcy Forman and Director John P. Torres, with Detention and Removal Operations (DRO), listing the new protocols for the agency.
Prior to the memorandum, the Office of Investigations worked hand in hand with Detention and Removal agents to remove and deport illegal alien absconders.
"[Detention and Removal] is a rapidly expanding program with the responsibility for ensuring that all removable aliens are detained in a safe environment and expeditiously removed from the United States. DRO has the responsibility for detaining and removing illegal aliens apprehended by ICE, [Customs and Border Protection] and, as resources allow, other law enforcement entities," states the Aug. 20 memo. "It is the vision of ICE for DRO to assume primary responsibility for non-investigative administrative arrests, for example, state and local law enforcement response to interdiction of immigration violators or probation and parole referrals."
Resources and manpower, however, are scarce, ICE agents say.
"They're just not there," said Jim Brown, a spokesman for American Federation of Government Employees. "Again, the bottom line is our folks are going to work this to the best of their ability, but the agency is leaving us short by not providing staff and resources. I don't think our members will be able to carry out that mission. Eventually, something is going to give."...