OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Rep. Lauren Boebert, frustrated by President Joe Biden’s lack of action to staunch the flow of illegal immigration and drug smuggling into the U.S., is taking a different tactic in her quest to get the administration to act.
The Colorado Republican is proposing trimming the salary of an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) appointee who was previously employed by a group that advocates against deporting migrant children to $1 per year as a provision of this year’s Department of Homeland Security Appropriations bill, the Daily Caller reported.
Boebert introduced an amendment to the bill aimed at reducing the salary of Claire Trickler-McNulty, the ICE Assistant Director for the Office of Immigration Program Evaluation.
Trickler-McNulty, who previously served as the Regional Director for Legal Services at Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), an organization that assists undocumented migrant children in deportation cases, had her background and prior work scrutinized in a recent review by the Daily Caller News Foundation. During her tenure at ICE, Trickler-McNulty oversaw the expansion of social services and initiatives designed to monitor undocumented immigrants beyond detention facilities.
Additionally, KIND has obtained financial support from the Open Society Foundations, a prominent left-leaning philanthropic organization funded by George Soros, and the Vera Institute of Justice, the latter of which actively opposes immigration detention practices and has characterized federal immigration enforcement agencies as a “threat to civil liberties.”
“She created a position for herself and is effectively the top person running immigration at ICE. Career staff in ICE’s policy shop have been largely sidelined and are barely participating in the development of policies,” former ICE Chief of Staff during the Trump Administration Jon Feere recently told the DCNF regarding Trickler-McNulty.
“The same is true of ICE officers running various operational divisions — instead of being viewed as subject matter experts who can provide ideas and guidance, they’re made aware of policies only after policy drafts are in their near-final form. My assumption is that these policies are largely written by outside, anti-ICE organizations and then distributed by their allies and former colleagues now working inside the White House, DHS, and ICE,” Feere noted further.
Under the Biden administration, ICE has been increasing the scope of its “Alternatives to Detention” (ATD) initiative, a program designed to oversee undocumented migrants released within the country. According to ICE data, there were approximately 83,000 individuals in the program by the end of the 2019 fiscal year, with the number having risen to roughly 85,000 by the end of the 2020 fiscal year.
The Daily Caller added:
After President Joe Biden took office, ATD enrollment jumped to more than 136,000 in fiscal year 2021, according to ICE data. In fiscal 2022, it climbed to 322,000. As of late August, there were roughly 195,000 individuals enrolled in the program.
Under the Biden administration, ICE has also expanded social services for illegal immigrants through “case management” programs that provide services that include mental health support and legal orientation services, according to the agency.
During a September 2021 webinar entitled “From Immigrant Detention to a More Effective U.S. Immigration Custody System,” Trickler-McNulty discussed a shift within the agency away from detaining illegal migrants.
“I’ve seen it in different areas within the agency that sometimes with change there’s sort of a lot of resistance up front, but then as it sort of weaves into the agency culture, different things can be embraced in different ways and so I think a lot of it is just education, training, persistence and making sure that we’re really making alternatives on the table and part of the assessment and analysis going forward,” Trickler-McNulty said, the Daily Caller reported.
For her part, Boebert has submitted her provision to the ICE appropriations bill but it has yet to be finalized by the House Rules Committee, the DC reported.