In testimony before the House Judiciary Committee’s Immigration and Enforcement Subcommittee on Tuesday, National Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Council President Chris Crane leveled some powerful accusations against the Obama administration and the political appointees who run ICE.

Speaking in favor of the “Hinder the Administration’s Legalization Temptation Act” or the HALT Act (H.R. 2497), Crane confirmed nearly all of FAIR’s assertions that administrative amnesty is being pursued via internal directives and memos in order to circumvent Congress’s refusal to enact it legislatively.

By broadly expanding the use of prosecutorial discretion, the Administration is manipulating immigration enforcement “to satisfy complaints from immigrants’ advocacy groups,” Crane told the committee. He also warned bluntly that, “law enforcement and public safety are no longer the priority at ICE; politics are the priority at ICE.”

The ICE union president also accused the agency of publicly touting policies that are not actually enforced, such as a task force to track down illegal aliens who do not respond to ICE correspondence. Of the program, Crane said, “the entire policy is merely another attempt by ICE to avoid enforcing violations of U.S. immigration laws for political reasons, while simultaneously attempting to convince the public that ICE is taking some type of legitimate law enforcement action.”

When political strategy trumps immigration enforcement, Americans and legal immigrants lose. They lose not only because entire categories of illegal aliens are given amnesty. They lose because the methods used to achieve it are not transparent and run in direct contrast to the will of the American people. Perhaps, most importantly, they lose because any time an administration in power asserts for itself the right to simply ignore laws it does not like or finds inconvenient, it is a threat to the very foundation of our constitutional democracy.