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Immigration Officers' Union Will Oppose Senate Bill

by Eyder Peralta
May 20, 2013

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Eyder Peralta

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The union that represents 12,000 officers who process immigration applications said they will oppose a bipartisan bill that seeks to overhaul the nation's immigration policies.

As Fox News reports, 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.

Fox reports:

"Kenneth Palinkas, president of the National Citizenship and Immigration Services Council, said his union was never consulted by the group of bipartisan lawmakers writing the bill, which he claims was written with special interests in mind and fails to address 'some of the most serious concerns the USCIS Council has about the current system.' ...

"Palinkas says the bill doesn't address the pressure he claims is put on adjudication officers to rubber stamp applications instead of conducting diligent case reviews. He says it fails to fix the 'insurmountable bureaucracy' which often prevents USCIS officers from contacting and coordinating with ICE agents in cases that should have their involvement, and doesn't do enough to address the problem of student visa overstays."

Essentially, Palinkas told Politico, USCIS has been turned into "an approval machine."

"The culture at USCIS encourages all applications to be approved, discouraging proper investigation into red flags and discouraging the denial of any applications," Palinkas said.

The Hill reports that the bill is now being marked up in the Senate Judiciary Committee. "Republicans in the Gang of Eight [sided] with the Democratic panel majority to defeat a number of amendments which could have jeopardized the fragile bipartisan compromise," The Hill reports.

Politico reports that the opposition from the National CIS Council is a boost to the National ICE Council, which until now had been the lone voice of opposition among enforcement unions.

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