Congress will hear from an illegal immigrant activist and an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent prohibited from arresting him.  The agent testified last week that officers routinely face disciplinary action for making arrests because “ICE’s mission now is to identify aliens and release them,” according to ICE supervisors.

“As a general rule, if ICE agents or officers are on duty in a public place and witness a violation of an immigration law, they are prohibited from making arrests and from asking questions under threat of disciplinary action,” ICE union head Chris Crane told the House Judiciary Committee, before listing several examples.

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In one instance, three ICE agents arrested a man after he admitted in immigration court that he was in the country illegally.

“While the ICE director order the immigration violator be set free, the Director also ordered that all three ICE agents be placed under investigation for no other reason than arresting an illegal alien,” Crane testified.

The no catch, only release policy even applies to violent individuals, such as an illegal immigrant whom ICE agents arrested after he was charged with assaulting a family member.

“When ICE agents attempted to transport the 245 lbs subject he resisted and attempted escape, injuring one agent before being taken back into custody,” Crane said in his prepared testimony. “When agents returned to their office in El Paso they were ordered by ICE managers to release the alien as a ‘Dreamer.’ ICE managers did not question the individual and conducted no investigation to ensure that charges for assaulting an officer were not warranted. Instead, ICE managers ordered that the illegal alien immediately be released without investigation in accordance with the President’s new immigration policies, reportedly stating to employees that ‘ICE’s mission now is to identify aliens and release them.’”

During his testimony, Crane also claimed that Obama cares more about the political costs of enforcing immigration laws than the well-being of ICE agents.

“Death or serious injury to ICE officers and agents appears more acceptable to ICE, DHS, and Administration leadership, than the public complaints that would be lodged by special interest groups representing illegal aliens,” he told the House panel.

The ICE union members agreed in 2010 that they have “no confidence” in the ability of the people Obama has appointed to run the agency.