10:59 GMT27 February 2021
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    Former Acting Homeland Security Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli claimed on Tuesday that Joe Biden's new executive orders for immigration policy were “foolishness” and paved the way for illegal immigration. Cuccinelli was accused of mismanagement, waste of government funds, and abuse of authority days before he slammed Biden.

    Derek Maltz, a national security public safety executive and ex-DEA agent, reflects on how the Biden administration should craft a new immigration policy and what factors should be taken into consideration.  

    Sputnik: Mr Cuccinelli was accused of mismanagement and waste of government funds by reaching a labour agreement with the ICE Union. How justified are these accusations?

    Derek Maltz: Based on my observations and experience, the senior ICE officials have been outstanding in controlling the flow of immigrants into the United States pursuant to the laws of America. And Mr Cuccinelli has been one of the senior leaders that have done an outstanding job. I have no specific details on any mishandling or mismanagement of specifics related to ICE. I would add that America has a very significant national security problem at our southwest border. And based on my first-hand observations and interacting with Mr Cuccinelli, I believe he is doing what's in the best interest of the public safety of all Americans.

    A migrant rests in a park near the entrance to the Puerta Mexico bridge that crosses over the Rio Grande river in Matamoros, Mexico
    © AP Photo / Emilio Espejel
    A migrant rests in a park near the entrance to the Puerta Mexico bridge that crosses over the Rio Grande river in Matamoros, Mexico

    Sputnik: To what extent could the provisions of the new agreement really interfere with Biden's immigration policy?

    Derek Maltz: First of all, the Biden administration needs to listen to the experts that have a comprehensive handle on what's going on at the southwest border. Over the last several years, the security experts have all aligned with what needs to be done to ensure maximum public safety in America and Mr Cuccinelli has been working closely with all of these executives to keep America's interest at the forefront.

    So we don't need more bureaucrats coming into and interfering with the ongoing homeland security efforts to secure America. We need them to listen and learn to figure out the best plan forward, since the immigration issue brings together a lot of complex issues that need to be evaluated over a long period of time.

    You can't just come in as the new administration and start making immediate decisions without even understanding the environment. We have a serious national security issue at the southwest border and as an example, any mention of open borders is a train wreck and a disaster for America.

    In addition, when you're talking about not deporting violent criminals back to their countries of origin, that's unacceptable. And Mr Cuccinelli has stood up strong in the past on enforcing the immigration laws.  

    Sputnik: How does the agreement improve the working conditions for ICE agents?  

    Derek Maltz: Our ICE agents are not babysitters. They have a very important mission to secure our southwest border. Unfortunately, there are many people in the incoming administration that want to change the roles and responsibilities of our brave ICE agents that puts them at risk, at serious risk. We have massive amounts of people trying to enter America and we don't even understand where they're coming from, who they are. We know that there's an issue with special interest aliens as well from some countries around the world that are looking to do serious harm in America.

    We don't even understand the health status of all of the people in these caravans. So we need to let ICE do their job. And I would highly recommend that the incoming administration first understand the outstanding work that the Department of Homeland Security has been doing over the last several years to secure America. 

    So before they start making political decisions, they need to listen to the experts who understand what's going on, people that have working on the border, people that have been at the border, not the government, Washington, DC bureaucrats that are looking to make a name for themselves that have no idea the severity of the situation. We must keep all ICE agents, you know, protected from any harm or any diseases that they could be impacted from with some of these people coming into America. So I would highly recommend that the incoming administration stay out of the politics and put America's security first.  

    Law and order must be a priority. We need to actually closely review all the border security issues. We need to update some of the antiquated laws, and we need to do what's right for the American citizens first. We need to stop the politics when it comes to US national security.  I only know that ICE has done an outstanding job trying to carry out their mission. And the politics keep getting in the way. That’s really, really bad. That's a recipe for disaster.

    Most of these politicians don't even understand what ICE does as an agency. They have a very broad mission and a very important mission for national security.

    Homeland Security Investigations is a component of ICE and they're out every day doing outstanding work to keep America safer. So the politicians don't even understand the entire role of ICE. They focus so much on the politics as opposed to looking at the overall mission, which is to keep Americans safe.  

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    immigration policy, Donald Trump, Joe Biden, US
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