Thursday, November 6, 2008

Days After Leak About Obama’s Aunt, Immigration Chief Julie Myers Announces Resignation»

Think Progress»

By Amanda Terkel at 12:40 pm

Yesterday evening, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff announced that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) chief Julie Myers will be stepping down on Nov. 15, although he gave no reason for her departure. From the press release:

Assistant Secretary Julie Myers has announced that she will depart the department on Nov. 15. Julie has been an extraordinary Assistant Secretary for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and when she approached me in mid-September to discuss her departure, I knew this would be a loss for the department. Julie has been a major force in transforming ICE into a 21st century law enforcement agency. […]

I am grateful for Julie’s many contributions to the safety and security of our homeland, and I look forward to our continued friendship.

Myers has been a controversial figure since the day that President Bush nominated her. She was widely criticized as being a crony hire, being the daughter of former Air Force Gen. Richard Myers and possessing almost no immigration or customs experience. During her tenure, ICE was heavily criticized for carrying out politically-motivated immigration raids.

Myers’s resignation comes just days after a “federal law enforcment official” told the AP that Barack Obama’s aunt was living in the United States illegally. ICE officials, however, are “prohibited from commenting on any individual’s status or the status of any case.” House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-MI) has called for an immediate investigation into the matter. On Saturday, Tim Dickinson at Rolling Stone questioned whether Myers may have been the source of the unauthorized leak.

Recently, Myers also came under criticism for awarding “most original costume” to a government employee who dressed up in a racially-offensive costume at an agency Halloween party.

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