As a follow-up to my last post, and a way to add my thoughts on a fellow contributor’s posting regarding a hearing held by Congressman Rogers (see “Immigration Fireworks on Capitol Hill Today?”), I wanted to discuss this trend of members of Congress attacking special agents at Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
My fellow Americans, the men and women of ICE are not our enemies, they are not Nazi’s and they are not jackbooted thugs — as some shameless members of Congress have actually, literally, asserted. They are brave, well trained WORKING Americans that were hired to do a job. Their job is to enforce the law. This is pretty easy to understand – except on Capitol Hill it would appear. Congressman Rogers asked very good questions and made some harsh comments, but the ICE management team that was summoned up there were not the correct people to be answering those questions.
In one comment, the Congressman asked (stated, really) that if ICE agents are not enforcing the law, then why do we need them? As a taxpayer, this would seem like an obvious question. But the truth is, other members of Congress — some of whom are even more powerful than Congressman Rogers, who happens to be the ranking member of the House Homeland Security Appropriations Committee — are at the same time demanding that ICE agents not enforce these laws.
How are ICE agents supposed to perform their duty under such blatantly conflicting directives from Congress? If Congress writes and passes the laws that ICE agents are to enforce, how is it not hypocritical to berate these folks for enforcing the laws that Congress passes? It is simple: don’t write laws you don’t want enforced. I think the best answer to the Congressman would have been that ICE agents would love to do their jobs but are often caught up in the mixed signals coming from the Speaker of the House and the rest of the crew on Capitol Hill.
If the Speaker were to pay someone to paint an office, picking out the brand and color, the Speaker would have no grounds for beating up the painter just because she did not like the color. In my many years of service, I found that I admired Congressman Rogers, even thought I didn’t always agree with him. I cannot say the same for Speaker Pelosi, who makes a decision (votes for a law), but gets mad when she does not like the color that she decided on.
Put the blame where it belongs — and that is not on the men and women of ICE. Especially not the management team that got pounded on the Hill. Yes, they are my friends, but they did not create this mess, nor are they in position to change any laws. Maybe the next hearing should be held with just staff and members of Congress from the Hill; they are the ones who wrote the laws and the only ones that can change them.
Thus I end this post the same as the last, the Speaker cannot try to please two different groups of constituents by passing the laws while turning her back to name call the ones that enforce the law. Granted this is a rough issue, but we vote them into office to make the tough decisions and trying to have it both ways does not work.