Asked last week why the policy was not properly being carried out, Durbin said local ICE and CBP employees might oppose the president’s position.
“Even when the president puts out a directive to the immigration authorities saying ‘Don’t deport those people who are no threat to us, particularly don’t deport those eligible for the DREAM Act,’ it still happens,” Durbin said. “It reflects a bureaucratic mess and many times local employees that ignore the president’s order.
“They have their own personal points of view, and they may be different from the president’s,” Durbin said.
Sharry suggested that the problem lies with the leadership at DHS, which may be afraid of taking on law enforcement and the National ICE Council, the union that represents the agency’s roughly 7,000 immigration officers.
“I think it is because of the culture at ICE and the leadership at DHS,” Sharry said.
At a House Judiciary subcommittee hearing last October, ICE union President Chris Crane said the prosecutorial discretion policy “cannot be effectively applied in the field and has the potential to completely overwhelm ICE’s limited manpower resources or result in the indiscriminate and large scale release of aliens encountered in all ICE law enforcement operations.”
But if the problem isn’t solved soon, Sharry said, it could end up benefiting presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
“The question is not are they going to vote for Romney, the question is are they going to turn out to vote,” Sharry said.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., carries a musket on stage as he speaks during the American Conservative Union's Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Md., on Thursday March 6, 2014.