Civil Service Laws Let Unions Set National Policy

Public-sector unions can stymie policies - for good or ill.

We've noted from time that unionized government employees pretty much can't be fired no matter what they do.

This is an obvious difficulty for the efficiency and effectiveness of government operations, but there's an even worse problem: immunity from being fired gives government employees undue influence over national policy itself, regardless of what our elected officials might desire that policy to be.

When the CIA decided they didn't like Mr. Bush's foreign policy, they released a bogus report saying that Iran had stopped research on nuclear weapons.   Although this report was soon revealed as untrue, its presence made it harder for Mr. Bush to get any sort of cooperation in trying to stop Iran's nuclear program.  Mr. Bush's enemies in the Mainstream Media kept reporting the CIA's bogus estimate well after it was clear that the Iranian Ayatollahs were in fact doing their very best to join the list of nuclear powers.

Unions Setting National Policy

Since we've come to expect this sort of biased deceit from our media, you can imagine our shock when the New York Times publicly revealed that unionized government employees are opposing a national policy as set by the President.

"Agents’ Union Stalls Training on Deportation Rules" says that the union is not allowing the administration to force its members to attend a new training course which is intended to teach them how to let more illegals remain in the US despite what our laws say:

The training course is the clearest sign yet that administration officials want to transform the way immigration officers work, asking them to make nuanced decisions to speed deportations of high-risk offenders while halting those of illegal immigrants with clean records and strong ties to the country. The policy is President Obama’s most ambitious immigration initiative before the November elections, senior administration officials said.

But in a new sign of the deep dissension over immigration, the union representing some 7,000 deportation officers of the agency, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, known as ICE, has so far not allowed its members to participate in the training. Without the formal assent of the union, the administration’s strategy could be significantly slowed for months in labor negotiations.  [emphasis added]

Hmm.  Government employee unions normally support Democrats, who are helped by the untrammeled flow of "undocumented Democrats."  Why isn't the union eager to start making "nuanced decisions" which allow future Democrat voters to remain in the country illegally?  Why are they opposed to this "backdoor amnesty" program?

Other groups of immigrants — elderly people, children, military veterans, college students and parents of young citizens — are low priorities who can be allowed to stay, even if they are here illegally. [emphasis added]

This is all good for the union's normal political allies.  Instead of supporting the program, though, the head of the union protests that his members are being trained how to not enforce the law - a perfectly correct assessment, of course.

A Democrat Tradition

The Democratic party has long been known for adjusting the voting rolls to their advantage.  When he was running against Bob Dole, President Clinton urged the immigration bureaucracy to hurry up and naturalize thousands of illegals in time for the election.

The Obama administration is carrying on this ignoble tradition.  Politico reports that the Department of Homeland Security has set up a 24/7 hot line so that all busted illegals can be informed of their "rights" - rights which, as illegal aliens, they don't even possess.  The idea is to push up the cost of deporting people from the current $23,000 or so and thus reduce the number which the Immigration service can afford to deport.

It's been reported that the illegal-alien callers are being asked, "Are you aware of the 2012 Presidential election and are you willing to vote?"  It seems that the union members who staff the hotline have no trouble helping illegals who've been caught stay in the country, provided they vote for Democrats.

Surprises Large and Small

This is what we found to be amazing:

  • A government employee union actually took up the cause of following the law instead of pursuing narrow partisan advantage.  It's no surprise at all that the Democrats are up to their old tricks - their gaming the voting rolls goes back at least a century - but why have they lost a historic ally?
  • The Times article's spin is what we'd expect - they've always favored open borders and they agree with the focus on letting illegals stay no matter what.  What's strange is that the Times considered this issue even to be fit to print.  We would have expected them to blithely ignore it, secure in the confidence that nobody would notice this strange affair so it might as well not have happened.
  • We agree with the union that laws ought to be followed, but unions aren't exactly famous for being law-abiding - particularly not the "Purple People Beaters" of the SEIU.  Is it possible that things have gone too far and they're having a change of heart?  There was a time when at least some unions acted as true-blue loyal Americans, well aware of the difference between their legitimate private goals and the public interest.
  • We disagree vehemently with unionized government employees making policy, much less torpedoing it.  The whole point of the civil service is to honestly, fairly, and obediently administer the laws passed by our elected Congress and the policies proclaimed by our elected President, who after all are the democratically chosen representatives of We the People.  If a political administration can't bring employees of the executive branch under control, how can any President hope to implement his campaign promises?

In conclusion, as legal, law-abiding, taxpaying US citizens, we are somewhat relieved that this union, for whatever reason, is doing its best to stonewall the President's unlawful policy of unofficial and illegal amnesty.  But we're appalled that this union, or any union, has that kind of power over government policy.  What a sorry state of affairs!

Will Offensicht is a staff writer for and an internationally published author by a different name.  Read other articles by Will Offensicht or other articles on Law.
Reader Comments

NY Times certainly is in favor of open borders. They're all over Romney...

Romney's Hard Line
In allying himself with the anti-immigrant activist Kris Kobach, Mitt Romney has lurched toward the extremist right.

Being in favor of enforcing the law is "extreme right!"

Mitt Romney, who used to try to sound like a moderate on immigration, has dropped the pretense. On Wednesday, he proudly accepted the endorsement of the anti-immigrant activist Kris Kobach, architect of the nation’s most radical immigration crackdowns, including the unconstitutional show-your-papers laws in Arizona and Alabama.

Mr. Romney has flipped and flopped all over on immigration, but in allying himself with Mr. Kobach he has lurched toward the extremist right. “Kris has been a true leader on securing our borders and stopping the flow of illegal immigration into this country,” Mr. Romney said.

Mr. Kobach, the secretary of state of Kansas, drafted that state’s photo-ID law supposedly to stem fraudulent voting but with the real purpose of suppressing Democratic votes. He is nationally known for drafting statutes, many passed by states and local governments, that usurp federal control of immigration enforcement and aim to make life intolerable for immigrants. He is with the legal arm of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, a group that wants to reduce legal immigration.

His new ally has shifted around between moderation (Mr. Romney once spoke favorably of Senator Edward Kennedy’s bill to legalize millions of the undocumented), double talk and evasion (he supported a 2,000-mile border fence but also seemed to be for some path to citizenship), and hypocrisy (illegal immigrants used to tend his lawn).

In this campaign, Mr. Romney has shed all good sense. He recently said he would even veto the Dream Act, which could give legal status to blameless young immigrants who go to college or serve in the military.

On the day of the Kobach endorsement, the Romney campaign released a TV ad in Florida. Mr. Romney, who has opposed bilingual education in favor of English, “the language of America,” shows he is willing, as always, to say what it takes to scrape up votes. “Muchas gracias,” he tells voters at the end of the ad, which is in Spanish.

January 12, 2012 7:38 AM

Without the formal assent of the union, the administration’s strategy could be significantly slowed for months in labor negotiations.

January 25, 2012 8:28 AM
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