November 11, 2008
Less than twelve hours after the results of last weeks' election were announced, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff announced Wednesday that Julie Myers, assistant secretary of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), is leaving the agency by November 15.
Myers, who has led the agency since 2006, was the controversial face of the Bush administration's enforcement-focused immigration policy.
As Feet In 2 Worlds has reported, recent large-scale ICE raids have been deeply unpopular, particularly among Latino voters and voters from other immigrant groups, and served to further tarnish the Republican brand. Post election analysis shows that Latinos gave Obama the winning edge in six states, helping to propel him into the White House and adding to Democratic majorities in Congress.
During Myers' tenure, the agency doubled the number of undocumented immigrants swept up into deportation proceedings to reach a new record of 274,000 sent back to their home countries in 2006. The agency also saw its budget grow exponentially -- and used it mostly for enforcement tactics including large-scale immigration raids that largely targeted undocumented workers rather than their employers.