Nearly 3,000 active informants work undercover for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), says National Public Radio, quoting the the Center for Investigative Reporting. Some of them say that despite the help they are providing to U.S. officials, ICE is trying to deport them.
The informants cite bureaucratic bungling, mistreatment and broken promises of being shielded from deportation in exchange for their cooperation in dangerous investigations. They say they have been willing to put their lives on the line, but they now face the prospect of harm in their native countries if they’re sent back. Their claims are supported by immigration attorneys, former drug agents, and members of Congress. “It’s troubling to think that the same agencies of Homeland Security would use someone to tackle crime and bust up drug rings and then turn around and prosecute the same people, knowing they had basically worked in partnership for many years,” said Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA).