Yesterday, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the nomination of John Morton to head the Department’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency. The Department also announced the appointment of Esther Olavarria as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy for the Department. Both positions will play key roles in shifting enforcement priorities towards the really bad actors and enacting the President’s vision for comprehensive immigration reform. Below is a statement from America’s Voice on both developments.
On Esther Olavarria:
“Congratulations to Ms. Olavarria on her appointment as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy at the Department of Homeland Security. Ms. Olavarria has a proven track record of building consensus to address the immigration issues that are facing our country. For over 20 years, she has been one of the foremost immigration experts in the country, including serving as Senator Kennedy’s principal advisor on immigration issues. During her time in the Senate, she was at Senator Kennedy’s right hand in negotiating bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform legislation that put the country’s need for an immigration solution over partisanship and politics. In doing so, she earned the respect and admiration of Members and staff from both sides of the aisle. She is an experienced, smart and pragmatic thinker, and we hope that she continues to build on her track record of bringing both sides together to fix our broken immigration system.”
On John Morton:
“We congratulate John Morton on his nomination to be the Assistant Secretary for Immigration and Customs Enforcement at DHS. His career reflects a level of experience that his predecessor, Julie Myers, clearly lacked. If Mr. Morton is confirmed to head ICE, he will have to work to make significant improvements to the unacceptable immigrant detention system that has been marred by detainee deaths and sub-par housing and basic service conditions. Similarly, we hope that the nominee, if confirmed, will take a hard look at the misplaced priorities that his predecessor left behind on the issue of worksite enforcement and raids. The priority has to be placed on bad actor employers that are undermining their competitors and abusing workers. We expect Mr. Morton to make these issues a priority for the department he will lead.”