Homeland Security

ICE meltdown: Agency lawyer sues over ‘purge,’ harassment

A career federal lawyer is suing the Department of Homeland Security for freeing criminal aliens under broad “prosecutorial discretion” rules. For pushing back against the policies, the attorney alleges she was subjected to vulgarity-laced harassment by her superiors.

Patricia Vroom’s 67-page complaint accuses her employer, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, an arm of DHS, of:

• Ignoring the law by routinely releasing and dismissing charges against convicted felons in the country illegally.
• Ordering Vroom to implement the Arizona Identity Theft Initiative, whose purpose was to drop and release hundreds of cases of illegal immigrants convicted of felony identity theft in the state
• Launching a “purge” of senior chief counsels, targeting them for “harassment … public humiliation and brutal scapegoating” in order to place cronies in those key positions to carry out administrative policy changes.
• Forcing Vroom to drop a slam-dunk removal case against an immigrant convicted of falsely claiming U.S. citizenship on two occasions in order to register to vote. A supervisor derided her for not understanding the prosecutorial discretion and “efficiency” goals of the administration.
• Criticizing Vroom for giving too much “pushback” on a 2013 order to release criminal aliens under the “Criminal Alien File Review Project,” in which 2,200 ICE detainees were released, ostensibly due to budget mismanagement by the agency in Washington, D.C.

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