AUGUST 27, 2013
As Congress moved to defund President Obama’s special advocate for illegal immigrants at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the title was quietly rebranded to protect the position, according to internal agency documents obtained by Judicial Watch this week.
It’s simply part of the president’s well-established pattern of abusing his authority to blow off Congress, especially when it comes to immigration. Early last year the DHS agency charged with finding and deporting illegal immigrants—Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)—announced that it had named its first-ever “Public Advocate” to deal with the concerns and recommendations of community and advocacy groups.
It was immediately evident that the ICE Public Advocate was essentially created to serve as the lap dog of the increasingly powerful open borders movement. In fact, the advocate (Andrew Lorenzen-Strait) confirms it in a blog post shortly after he was named to the position: “My staff and I will serve as a point of contact for individuals, including those in immigration proceedings, NGOs, and other community and advocacy groups, who have concerns, questions, recommendations or important issues they would like to raise.” In a Spanish announcement DHS calls Lorenzen-Strait the people’s counsel.
Lorenzen-Strait wasted little time before meeting with leftist groups known to represent the interests of illegal immigrants in a series of “community roundtables.” Participants included El Centro Hispano in Durham North Carolina, the Massachusetts Immigration and Refugee Advocacy Coalition in Boston and the International House in Charlotte, North Carolina. Not coincidentally, the Obama administration released thousands of illegal immigrants from detention facilities throughout the U.S. after the meetings.
Some members of Congress became outraged that American taxpayer dollars were being used to fund a Homeland Security position that advocates on behalf of illegal immigrants. A Tennessee congresswoman introduced a widely supported measure to prevent ICE from funding the position of public advocate, reminding that when Congress established DHS it created an advocate position for immigrants in the legal immigration process but specifically declined to create one for illegal immigrants.
The Obama administration responded by simply changing Lorenzen-Strait’s title to one that apparently can’t be defunded by Congress. No press releases were issued announcing the sneaky move but JW has obtained internal DHS correspondence that shows Lorenzen-Strait’s title at ICE was recently changed to Deputy Assistant Director Custody Programs and Community Outreach. The title was included in an agency file associated with the Obama administration’s new directive protecting the illegal immigrant parents of anchor babies from deportation.
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