Two top GOP lawmakers sent a letter on Wednesday to President Barack Obama stating that they have serious reservations regarding the appointment of John Sandweg as the acting director of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) directorate, according to law enforcement sources in Washington, D.C.
According to the letter signed by House Committee on Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul, R- Texas, and Rep. Jeff Duncan, R-S.C., who chairs the committee's Oversight Subcommittee, John Sandweg is a former criminal defense attorney from Arizona who defended convicted murderers, sexual predators and pedophiles. They also pointed out that Sandweg "fought to free convicts who were locked up for violent offenses.
McCaul and Duncan argued in their letter to Obama that Sandweg's record makes him unsuited to head the nation's law enforcement agency that must be prepared to enforce laws that are unpopular with the current White House and many members of both houses of the U.S. Congress.
Sandweg's predecessor, John Morton, was very unpopular with his own agents at ICE and agents with other Homeland Security Department agencies such as the U.S. Border Patrol. In fact, ICE agents through their union gave Morton a unanimous vote of "no confidence."
"We now have an Attorney General [Eric Holder] who as an attorney defended Guantanamo Bay terrorists and now we have an immigration enforcement chief who defended the worst criminals one can imagine. What's next? An FBI director who once defended Mafia members?" asked former New York police officer, Iris Aquino.
While the 38-year-old John Sandweg, worked between 2002 and 2009 defending criminals in Arizona he also helped Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano raise campaign money for her reelection campaign as governor of Arizona.
Several law enforcement officers question Sandweg's credentials as a law enforcement executive saying he's part of the Obama administration's politicization of yet another federal agency.
The McCaul-Duncan letter states:
"A litany of concerning allegations has been raised against Mr. Sandweg. Perhaps the most concerning is the clear political partisanship displayed throughout his career.
"Despite extensive political experience, Mr. Sandweg's qualifications are critically thin in one area: experience in law enforcement.
"Such a critical agency to our homeland security demands a leader with proven experience, significant managerial acumen, and tested judgment. We fear your choice may possess none.
Jim Kouri, CPP, is founder and CEO of Kouri Associates, a homeland security, public safety and political consulting firm. He's formerly Fifth Vice-President, now a Board Member of the National Association of Chiefs of Police, an editor for ConservativeBase.com, and he's a columnist for Examiner.com. In addition, he's a blogger for the Cheyenne, Wyoming Fox News Radio affiliate KGAB (www.kgab.com) and editor of Conservative Base Magazine (www.conservativebase.com). Kouri also serves as political advisor for Emmy and Golden Globe winning actor Michael Moriarty.
He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at St. Peter's University and director of security for several major organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country.
He holds a bachelor of science in Criminal Justice from Southwest University and SCI Technical School in New York City and completed training at the NYC Police Academy, FBI Continuing Education Program, and the Certified Protection Professional (CPP) of the American Society for Industrial Security.
Kouri appears regularly as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Fox News Channel, Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, etc.
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