Last Chance for Head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill has made repeated requests for the number of prosecutions of employers who hire illegal immigrants during the tenure of Secretary of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Julie Myers. When McCaskill suggested at Myers’s confirmation hearing on September 12th that her vote hinged on obtaining the statistics, Myers said she would provide the information at a later date. With less than 24 hours before the scheduled committee vote, McCaskill is still waiting.
“Frankly, I don’t understand how the person responsible for immigration enforcement can tout her record of going after employers who hire illegal immigrants, but not have a shred of proof that a single employer has gone to jail even for a day,” McCaskill said.
Six days after the Myers hearing, McCaskill sent a letter formally requesting the information Myers had promised during the hearing. Shortly thereafter, staff at ICE indicated during verbal conversations with McCaskill’s staff that the information would require significant time to obtain. Therefore, McCaskill asked that the committee to delay the vote on Myers’s confirmation until adequate information had been supplied.
McCaskill also asked for the total number of persons charged criminally as a result of ICE workplace enforcement actions at the hearing on September 12th. Myers confirmed at that time that there had been a total of 716 arrests made during fiscal year 2006, including illegal immigrants and any alleged arrests made of employers. Friday, McCaskill requested that Myers turn over the names of those individuals, so McCaskill's staff could try to determine if any employers had been charged. ICE has yet to provide that basic information as well.
McCaskill continued, “I’ve been more than patient. Information about a case in Missouri was requested this past summer. My staff gave ICE time to come up with statistics about employer arrests before the hearing two weeks ago. We even asked for the names Ms. Myers cited in her hearing so that we could attempt to investigate these cases ourselves. Still, nothing. This is unacceptable.”
Specifically, McCaskill has asked for the number of employers who, as a result of ICE’s workplace enforcement actions, were arrested in 2007, served jail time in 2007, or were fined in 2007. She also requested similar statistics for the entire Bush Administration.