New DHS Official Railed Against Jailing Illegal Migrants

( – The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has appointed a new immigration detention ombudsman who has previously spoken out against immigration agencies and accused them of abuse. Michelle Brane has a history of social media posts denouncing the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency, whose detention processes she will scrutinize in her new role.

In 2019, Brane argued against providing more resources to ICE. She said the agency, which enforces immigration laws, already had billions of taxpayer dollars to “detain asylum seekers” and “does not need more.” Two years earlier, she made similar remarks, saying ICE could not “implement detention humanely” and arguing for alternatives to imprisonment.

Ms. Brane furthermore engaged in a brief online debate with ICE acting Director Thomas Horman, who argued that waiting for illegal immigrants to commit another crime before detaining them was too late. “We shouldn’t wait for them to become criminals,” he stated. Brane responded, saying, “Sounds like a police state to me.”

Some ICE staff are objecting to Brane’s appointment, with one saying it is the equivalent of “putting an arsonist in charge of conducting oversight of the US Forest Service.” John Feere, who led ICE during the Trump administration, speculated that she would use her position to undermine immigration agencies and impede their operations with excessive bureaucracy. For example, he suggested that she could increase the number of audits the agency must undergo despite the hefty amount already imposed.

Chief of staff Michael Lumpkin recently reported that one ICE detention facility underwent 92 audits last year.

The DHS describes Ms. Brane’s record as including 25 years of working in immigration and human rights reform. She led the Women’s Refugee Commission for 15 years, and served as the Executive Director for the Homeland Security Department’s Family Reunification Task Force. Other previous posts include Director of the Migrant Rights and Justice organization. Brane is a graduate of the University of Michigan, Georgetown University, and is admitted to the New York Bar.

Copyright 2024,