CENTER FOR IMMIGRATION STUDIES

By Jessica Vaughan, November 11, 2014

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“When a number of attorneys objected to a particular example of such a criminal alien, the supervisor said, “We [ICE leadership] don’t give a s*** about that. Let it go.”

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Last week Patricia Vroom, an attorney with an exemplary 26-year career at ICE filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of Arizona that depicts in shocking detail how a tightly-knit band of her superiors apparently bullied her and other career lawyers to force compliance with the Obama administration’s immigration enforcement suppression scheme. In addition to describing a hostile work environment spoiled by sexual harassment, threats, insults, and other deplorable behavior of these top managers, Vroom’s complaint provides alarming examples of how personnel were told to ignore the law and routinely release and dismiss charges on entire categories of criminal aliens, including certain convicted felons, drunk drivers, DACA applicants, and illegal juveniles from the border surge.

The complaint has enough juicy scenes for a night-time television drama, but what it reveals about the Obama administration’s reckless disdain for immigration enforcement is especially troubling. It is the latest in a series of lawsuits that demonstrate a disturbing pattern of abuse of authority among favored and ideologically driven senior staff in DHS agencies.Vroom describes some specific examples of how the so-called prosecutorial discretion policies have been implemented, and of the effort to destroy professional integrity in ICE’s legal division:

•Beginning in May 2009, this clique of top supervisors launched a “purge” of senior chief counsels, targeting them for “harassment, reassignment of duties to much less desirable ones, public humiliation, and brutal scapegoating” in order to place cronies in those key positions to carry out administration policy changes. Like other senior ICE attorneys, Vroom says she was targeted after the now-disgraced acting head of ICE, John Sandweg, “screamed” to her supervisor that the Phoenix office, which she ran, was “all f***ed up” for not implementing “prosecutorial discretion” to their satisfaction. More

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