The labor group representing Immigration and Customs Enforcement workers endorsed Donald Trump on Monday, marking the first time the group has ever endorsed a candidate for president.
The National ICE Council is the second federal employee union to endorse Trump, joining the National Border Patrol Council, which backed the Republican nominee in March. The ICE group represents 5,000 immigration officers and law enforcement support staff.
Chris Crane, the president of the council and an ICE officer for 13 years, appeared at a Trump rally in February. Crane and his union have been a thorn in the side of the Obama administration and its immigration policies for years, including through a lawsuit alleging the president’s executive orders were preventing ICE employees from doing their jobs and leading a vote of no confidence in ICE leadership.
» Get the best federal news and ideas delivered right to your inbox. Sign up here.
In a vote of its membership, Crane said Hillary Clinton received just 5 percent support. He noted that unlike Trump, Clinton had never met with his union and would back policies of “special interests and open-border radicals” that result “in the daily loss of life and victimization of many.” Clinton, he said, would continue Obama policies that “have forced our officers to violate their oaths to uphold the law.”
“By contrast, Donald Trump reached out to us for a meeting, sat down with me to discuss his goals for enforcement, and pledged to support ICE officers, our nation’s laws and our members,” Crane said.
He added Clinton’s plan amounts to “total amnesty plus open borders” -- a claim fact checkers have deemed untrue -- and the “handcuffing of ICE officers.” Crane added that Trump’s policies, meanwhile, include “support for increased interior enforcement and border security, an end to Sanctuary Cities, an end to catch-and-release, mandatory detainers, and the canceling of executive amnesty and non-enforcement directives.”
Like the Border Patrol Council, the ICE Council is a subsidiary of the American Federations of Government Employees. AFGE, like other large federal employee groups, has endorsed Clinton.