News Release, Congressman Tom Tancredo
Published on phxnews.com
May 21, 2005
From the Office of Congressman Tom Tancredo FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congressman Tom Tancredo (R-CO) called for the resignation of Michael Nicely, Agent-in-Charge of the Tucson Sector of the Border Patrol, after a dozen Border Patrol agents confirmed that he ordered them to reduce the apprehension of illegal aliens crossing the border.
Eight Congressmen signed Tancredo's letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff calling for Nicely's resignation. Ten Congressmen signed a separate letter by Tancredo which calls for the House Judiciary Committee to initiate an investigation into the "stand down" orders.
"Any government official that seeks to thwart the law is derelict in his duty to the American people. Mr. Nicely must take responsibility for his actions and turn over his post to someone who is willing to enforce the law," said Tancredo.
A dozen Border Patrol agents told the Washington Times that they had been instructed to "stand down" from arresting illegal aliens near where Minutemen protestors had patrolled in April. The agents understood that an increase in arrests would prove the effectiveness of extra manpower on the border and would credit the Minutemen's approach. Several sources, including the President of the National Border Patrol Council, have confirmed the newspaper report.
Tancredo called for a Congressional investigation into the incident. "In a post-9/11 world, it is critical that we send the message that we're serious about border security. A Congressional investigation will get to the bottom of these troubling and dangerous practices," said Tancredo.
"If Mr. Nicely was acting on orders from officials higher up in the border bureaucracy, more heads should roll," concluded Tancredo. "Congress needs to exercise more active oversight of our border security."