The Washington Times’ Stephen Dinan reports that Kris Kobach is representing a group of ICE agents who are rightfully perplexed about how they are going to do their job with the latest instructions coming out of DHS concerning the Administration’s Administrative Dream Act. Their pleading is essentially ‘damn if we do, damn if we don’t.’ There is some merit in what Kobach and his clients are arguing, how can they be expected to do their job given what appears to be conflicting and extremely ambiguous guidelines? Their jobs are further complicated by the unanswered question that no one seems to be focusing on, i.e., how are juvenile records going to be checked on these ‘kids’ when juvenile records by law are sealed?
However, Kobach’s lawsuit is complicated by the fact that ICE activities in Texas and especially in El Paso, are themselves most likely the subject of some level of internal investigation, via the James Woosley Affair. We also know from news reports that the DHS OIG in Texas, which would have received reports concerning ICE employee misconduct, is under investigation.
Partisan political figures like Mr. Kobach, who Ann Coulter has touted for President someday and who was John Ashcroft’s wonderboy in DOJ, need to be very careful not to mistake unhappiness within bureaucratic ranks as simply anger at what the rank and file see as bad policies by an administration they don’t like. There are real law enforcement activities, including internal investigations, continuing to take place even when everyone appears to be tied up in partisan political warfare. All of Mr. Kobach’s clients may be sincere and rightfully angry, but reports that ICE agents everywhere are up in arms against the administration’s new policy needs to be supplemented with the recognition that that will also include agents who have more to worry about than doing their jobs, they may also be worried about how they got their jobs and how they have been doing their jobs.
I’m sure the ICE agents, Mr Kobach, NumbersUSA, and their media supporters would not want to obstruct any ongoing or possible criminal investigation of James Woosley type ICE employees, on the other hand it’s a pity the administration has chosen to depend on an agency which is clearly broken and in disarray without first making a serious attempt to fix it.