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Reaction: ‘Disgust and disbelief’ at appointment of new ICE director

Acting ICE Director John Sandweg
Acting ICE Director John Sandweg
Photo Credit: C-Span

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The appointment of the new acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement is being met with such “disgust and disbelief” that one lawmaker has asked the Obama administration to appoint someone else more “qualified and confirmable,” Fox News reported Wednesday.

John Sandweg, a close advisor to Sec. of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, was appointed last week to take over from outgoing ICE director John Morton.

Critics question Sandweg’s past work as a criminal defense attorney – representing “accused and convicted murderers, sex offenders and pedophiles and [fighting] for the release of violent convicted offenders” – as well as his lack of law enforcement experience in light of the fact that he is now acting director of the nation’s “second-largest law enforcement agency,” the report said.

According to Fox News:

“I am deeply disappointed by this appointment and believe it is disrespectful to the thousands of dedicated professionals at ICE who are working tirelessly to enforce our laws and provide for our security,” said Rep. John Carter, R-Texas, who chairs the House Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee. “I urge the administration to re-think this appointment and promptly appoint a qualified, confirmable applicant for this essential post.”

“He has zero law enforcement experience and he [is running] our country’s second-largest law enforcement agency — and that’s a real job, it’s not a figure-head position,” a former administration official told Fox.

But Napolitano praised Sandweg’s appointment, saying in an internal DHS memo obtained by Fox News:

Since joining DHS in 2009, John has served as one of my closest advisors on matters related to immigration enforcement, border security, and federal law enforcement.

John brings significant experience in the development and implementation of our border security and immigration enforcement strategies and will continue to build on our common sense approach that prioritizes public safety and national security.

Sandweg, 38, is “believed” to “have the inside track for the nomination for the permanent position,” the article said.

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