Shutdown Negotiators Consider Major Restrictions on ICE’s Ability to Detain Illegals

Saagar Enjeti | White House Correspondent


As a part of the effort to end the partial government shutdown, Senate negotiators have floated drastic restrictions on the detention of criminal illegal aliens which would dramatically limit the number of illegals ICE could detain.

A source close to the negotiations tells The Daily Caller that the Senate is discussing limiting bed space operated by Immigration and Customs Enforcement to only those illegal immigrants detained by the U.S. Border Patrol. The source noted that ICE rarely arrests illegal aliens for simply being in the country illegally and that it would significantly reduce the number of aliens that ICE could detain and deport.

Homeland Security officials fear that the policy change would endanger states and localities who wish to cooperate with ICE in the transfer of criminal illegals. The source close to the process could not say what exactly these restrictions were being considered in exchange for by Republicans.

Former acting ICE Director Thomas Homan told TheDC the proposals were “absolutely ridiculous” and that in effect “every jail in the country would be a sanctuary jail.” Homan continued that local communities put criminal illegal aliens in jail because they are an obvious threat to their community and that such a change in ICE’s ability to operate would endanger public safety.

“If I was a Republican this is not something I’d consider,” Homan declared. The former acting ICE director also continued, “If they want to give us less beds then we’re back to catch and release,” adding, these restrictions “would make matters worse.”

The White House and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office did not respond to a request for comment.

The White House is currently engaged in extensive negotiations with party leaders in Congress as President Donald Trump demands $5 billion in funding for a proposed barrier along the U.S. southern border before he will end the partial government shutdown. Vice President Mike Pence, acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, and other aides have been seen on Capitol Hill in recent days parlaying with legislators. (RELATED: The Government Shut Down, But Trump Will Keep National Parks Open)

Democratic congressional leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer have declared that they will not appropriate a single dollar in taxpayer funds towards a border wall and are only willing to provide approximately $1.3 to 1.6 billion in “border security” funding.

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