Vote of “No Confidence” from the American Federation of Government Employees and National Homeland Security Council

UponreviewingnationalnewsregardingimmigrationintheUnitedStates,immigrationreform,andenforcementofthecurrentlaws,itwaslearnedtodaythattheAmericanFederationofGovernmentEmployees(theUnionrepresentingover600,000governmentworkers–accordingtoitswebsite)togetherwiththeNationalHomelandSecurityCouncilissuedascathingpressreleaseindicatingaunanimous“VoteofNoConfidence”forintheDirectorofImmigration&CustomsEnforcement(ICE),JohnMorton,andtheAssistantDirectoroftheICEOfficeofDetentionPolicyandPlanning,PhyllisCoven.

Atfirstglance,thismayseemlikeadocumentthatanimmigrationpractitionerwouldbeinterestedin,hopingtogainsomeinsightintothemindsofICEofficersandtheirfrustrationswithasystemthatishopelesslybrokenandcausingharmtoindividualseveryday.Instead,thedocumentlistsnineinflammatoryandwhollyconclusorystatementsthatarenotbackedupwithanyfacts,statisticsorlinkstocompiledcompletedresearch.ThislackofevenattenuatedresearchshowstheleadershipofthesetwoorganizationshasnorealinterestinthefactthatthecurrentlawissoirretrievablybrokenthattheICEofficersitrepresentsarefaceddailywithepicdifficultyinenforcement.Thereis,additionally,anobviouscompletelackofconfidenceintheOfficeofProfessionalResponsibility,thegovernmentbodyresponsibleforinvestigatingcomplaintsofprofessionalmisconductofofficers.
Unfortunately,eachandeverystatementinthedocumentdoesnotcitetooneiotaofevidenceorresearch,butinsteadmakessweepingandsometimeswhollyfalsestatementsmeanttoinciteangerandfrustration,ratherthanafeelingofunionandleadership.Mostnotably,thestatementregarding“resortlikeliving”atICEdetentioncenters.In2008Immigration&CustomsEnforcement(ICE)reportedthat113individualsdiedwhileinthecareofICEbetween2003and2008.Oneindividualinparticular,Mr.BoubacarBah,whowasinplacedinICEcustodyandheldattheElizabethDetentionCenter,wasinjuredwhenhefellintherestroom.Mr.Bahwastakentomedicalwherehebecameincoherentandagitated(obvioussignsofbraintrauma)andwashandcuffed,shackledandthenwrittenupfordisobeyingordersthathewasunabletounderstand.Whilehelayonthefloorvomiting,foamingatthemouthandwrithinginpain.Insteadofbeinggiventhetreatmenthedeservedasahumanbeing,hewasleftinadarkroomforthirteenhoursbeforesomeoneinthecenterfinallycalled911.Mr.Bahwastakentoahospitalwhereheunderwentemergencysurgery,slippedintoacomaanddiedfromaskullfracture.Subsequently,inthereportsthattheUniondecries,itwaslearnedthatofficialswereplottinghowtoconcealtheirerrorswithMr.Bahwhilehelaydying,ratherthatprovidinghimwiththecaretheyhavebeenchargedwith.
AdditionalviolationsofhumanrightsatICEdetentioncentersinclude“physicalandsexualabuse,substandardmedicalcare,over-medication,inappropriatetransfers,andotherappallingindignitiescontrarytobasicnotionsofdueprocess”havebeenclearlydocumentedbyorganizationsincludingtheACLU,AmnestyInternational,HumanRightsWatch,HumanRightsFirst,theAppleseedFoundationandtheDepartmentofHomelandSecurityOfficeoftheInspectorGeneral.Anyincreaseinstandardsofcareatdetentionfacilitiescanhardlybecalled“resortlike”.

ThereisnoquestionthatoursystemisbrokenandUnitedStatesICEOfficersaredailyfacedwithanoverwhelmingtask;butinsteadofblamingtwoindividualschargedwithenforcingthelawsliketheofficerstheylead,theUnionshouldassistinfindingawayfortheirmemberstobeabletoworkwithleadershiptocontinuetoenforcetheruleoflawwhileourgovernmenthopefullyfindsawaytoreformasystemthatdoesnotworkforanyone,includinglawenforcement.


Join AFGE Today

BECOME A MEMBER

Stop The Shutdown

Feeding America

Shutdown Financial Assistance

Shutdown Lawsuit

LegCon 2019

AFGE Events

Event Calendar is for Members Only. Please Log In to see our calendar of events.

LOG IN!

SUBSCRIBE Latest news & info