NCISC & ICE Union Oppose Gang of Eight BillYesterday, the National Citizenship and Immigration Services Council (NCISC), joined the National ICE Council in opposing the Gang of Eight legislation. Between these two unions, they represent more than 20,000 Department Homeland Security employees working in immigration enforcement.

Kenneth Palinkas, NCISC president, echoed the concerns of Chris Crane, president of the National ICE Council, in a statement announcing the position:

Yet, like the ICE Council, the USCIS Council was not consulted in the crafting ofthe Gang of Eight’s legislation. Instead, the legislation was written with special interests- producing a bill that makes the current system worse, not better. S. 744 will damage public safety and national security and should be opposed by lawmakers.

Palinkas also indicated that NCISC would support a letter signed by more than 40 law enforcement and immigration enforcement officials that was released earlier in May.

Since many of the 20,000 employees represented between these two unions are on the front line of immigration enforcement, this announcement made headlines:

New York TimesLarger Union That Enforces Immigration Opposes Bill

A letter to Congress that excoriates the Senate proposal, and that the immigration officers’ union signed for the first time, reveals simmering unrest among Homeland Security employees, who have been asked to carry out broad and fast-paced immigration policy shifts by the Obama administration. Deportation agents have been instructed to focus heavily on removing serious criminal offenders, while immigration officers have been urged to accelerate their decisions on granting legal papers and reprieves from deportation.

The Hill: Union for immigration enforcement officers to oppose Senate bill

In a statement, National Citizenship and Immigration Services Council (NCISC) President Kenneth Palinkas said the bill would create an “insurmountable bureaucracy” within his agency and argued the legislation would interfere with the independent judgment of officers who were already “pressured to rubber stamp applications instead of conducting diligent case review and investigation.”

PoliticoNational Citizenship and Immigration Services Council fights Senate bill

The opposition of the National CIS Council is a boost to the bill’s opponents in the Senate, and to National ICE Council President Chris Crane, who has become a loud and prominent voice against the legislation, but had found himself alone among federal law enforcement unions in opposition. Palinkas said he would sign a letter Crane sent to senators earlier this month declaring the Gang of Eight legislation “fails to meet the needs of the law enforcement community.”

Daily Caller: Immigration officers union warns against Senate immigration bill

‘In his statement, Palinkas highlights nine issues his union believes the Gang of Eight legislation fails to address with the current immigration system, including the fact that Palinkas says USCIS has become an application “approval machine” where few applications are denied due to a “rubber stamp” culture, “discouraging proper investigation into red flags and discouraging the denial of any applications…” Palinkas further decries what he calls Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano’s “secretive panels,” which must approve USCIS officers’ notices for illegal immigrants to appear before federal judges to be put in removal proceedings…”

Washington Free Beacon: Union representing immigration officials opposes immigration reform

‘Sources say it is highly unusual for the USCIS Council to weigh in publicly on legislation… The USCIS Council, whose members would play a key role in implementing the proposed immigration law, will be the second of three government immigration services unions to oppose the so-called Gang of Eight’s immigration bill… “The legislation will provide legal status to millions of visa overstays while failing to provide for necessary in-person interviews,” said Palinkas “We need immigration reform that works. This legislation, sadly, will not…”

Wall Street JournalTwo Unions Oppose Senate Immigration Bill

For instance, the legislation fails to tackle the agency’s “insurmountable bureaucracy,” where officers are pressured to approve all applications, Kenneth Palinkas said in a statement Monday explaining why he joined Mr. Crane’s letter. Mr. Palinkas’s union, the National Citizenship and Immigration Services Council, represents about 12,000 USCIS workers.

LA Times: Union of Federal Workers Opposes Immigration Bill

As the committee convened for its fourth day of hearings, the National Citizenship and Immigration Services Council, which represents about 12,000 employees at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, announced its opposition, saying provisions in the bill could lead to fraud.

NPR: Immigration Officers’ Union Will Oppose Senate Bill

The National CIS Council is the second union to oppose the bill being discussed in Congress. The National ICE Council, which represents Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers, has expressed its opposition to the bill for a while now.

Washington ExaminerWhy law enforcement opposes Schumer-Rubio immigration bill

A key theme throughout the USCIS statement is a lack of trust in the Obama administration to enforce existing law, and the assertion that Schumer-Rubio does nothing to ensure future enforcement.

See the entire NCISC press release below: