President Obama warned workers at the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement: implement executive amnesty, or else. He made the comments in a town hall event on immigration on MSNBC.
According to the White House pool report, President Obama was asked for reassurance that people wouldn't be deported as the legal battle over the executive amnesty plays out in the courts.
“Until we pass a law through Congress, the executive actions we’ve taken are not going to be permanent; they are temporary. There are going to be some jurisdictions and there may be individual ICE official or Border Control agent not paying attention to our new directives. But they’re going to be answerable to the head of Homeland Security because he’s been very clear about what our priorities will be,” Obama said, according to a partial transcript provided by the pool reporter.
“Not only are we going to have to win this legal fight.. but ultimately we’re still going to pass a law through Congress. The bottom line is I’m using all the legal power invested in me in order to solve this problem.”
“If somebody’s working for ICE … and they don’t follow the policy, there’s going to be consequences to it.”
UPDATE: Here are the remarks, via a transcript provided by the White House:
MR. DIAZ-BALART: But what are the consequences? Because how do you ensure that ICE agents or Border Patrol won’t be deporting people like this? I mean, what are the consequences
THE PRESIDENT: José, look, the bottom line is, is that if somebody is working for ICE and there is a policy and they don’t follow the policy, there are going to be consequences to it. So I can’t speak to a specific problem. What I can talk about is what’s true in the government, generally.
In the U.S. military, when you get an order, you’re expected to follow it. It doesn’t mean that everybody follows the order. If they don’t, they’ve got a problem. And the same is going to be true with respect to the policies that we’re putting forward.
A few weeks ago, Palle Christiansen, Greenland’s minister of finance warned that his country was facing an existential threat from immigration. Yet unlike the far-right politicians of Europe who take up this theme, Christiansen was not fretting over foreigners coming to his country’s shores, but about fellow citizens leaving.