A review of bureaucrats at the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL) shows deep ties to the nation’s powerful open borders lobby and “Abolish ICE” movement, which seeks to end arrests and deportations of illegal aliens.
Most notably, CRCL Chief Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia was engrained in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) ideology as the associate dean for DEI at Penn State Law in University Park and a director at the pro-amnesty National Immigration Forum.
Before joining CRCL, Wadhia suggested that perhaps even the most violent illegal alien felons, such as those convicted of murder, rape, and child abuse, should not be eligible for deportation solely because of their crimes.
Wadhia said in 2020:
I don’t know that any element of criminality should suffice to being a priority for enforcement, or even any felony for that matter, and I think that part of that has to do with how I view the role of prosecutorial discretion and the importance of looking at the whole person and equities.
Wadhia also previously advocated against using the term “illegal immigrant,” which is now written policy at the DHS thanks to orders from Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas that require staff to use the term “noncitizens” instead.
WATCH: Mayorkas Refuses to Use Term “Illegal Immigrants”
Even as Wadhia has said she does not consider the abolishment of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) “a very good solution” or “helpful,” she chairs the national board for the DHS’s Case Management Pilot Program, which is funneling taxpayer money to Church World Service (CWS).
CWS has ties to the “Abolish ICE” movement, so much so that in November 2022, Sens. Roger Marshall (R-KS) and Bill Hagerty (R-TN) asked Mayorkas for a full accounting of the group’s involvement with the agency.
The Senators wrote:
CWS has been at the forefront of pro-open border and anti-enforcement activities for years, going as far as advocating for the diverting of funds away from ICE and United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) enforcement activities and even ultimately supporting the ‘Abolish ICE’ movement. That organization now has a fiduciary responsibility directly tied to ICE, detention matters, and the immigration enforcement process overall.
Likewise, while at Penn State Law, Wadhia founded the Center for Immigrants’ Rights Clinic. In May 2017, the clinic worked with a group known as Project South to author a report regarding immigration detention facilities in Georgia.
By 2021, Project South helped author a report lobbying Congress and President Joe Biden to abolish “the post 9/11 global, federal, and local infrastructure that has been used to detain, deport, dehumanize, surveil, and engage in the mass criminalization of our communities.”
Priority number one for Biden, the report states, ought to be abolishing the DHS altogether, including ICE:
National Immigration Center for Enforcement (NICE) advisory board member John Fabbricatore, a former senior ICE official, told Breitbart News that hires like Wadhia are abolishing ICE “from within” the DHS.
“Lawmakers and the American people need to understand who is running influential offices counter to the agency’s mission,” Fabbricatore said. “They’re supposed to secure the homeland, not undermine the rule of law and public safety.”
Likewise, Natalie Prokop serves as a senior policy adviser at CRCL. She previously worked with the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) in New York City.
In 2018, after Prokop had left the group to work at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), AFSC published a piece titled “Calling to abolish ICE is how we will win,” which stated that “abolish[ing] ICE is principled and reasonable.”
Other CRCL senior policy advisers like Jennifer Atala, Jessica Salsbury, and Regina Germain have similarly worked for groups such as the Florence Immigrant And Refugee Rights Project, CASA, and the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, which have directly supported the “Abolish ICE” movement or worked with other organizations that have.
Katherine Culliton-Gonzalez, who once worked at CRCL under Biden but has since been moved to the Office of Civil Rights at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), was listed in a 2018 report by CASA as a “contributor.”
CASA is hugely involved in the “Abolish ICE” movement and dedicates an entire webpage on its site to the policy proposal:
“… ICE has a well-earned reputation as a ‘rogue agency’ in interior immigration enforcement, characterized by a dramatic decrease in public trust and the rise of the Sanctuary Movement,” CASA executives write. “The long-term and documented pattern of human rights abuses, deaths, fear tactics, and racial profiling have led CASA and advocated across the country, and the world, to call for the abolishment of this nefarious agency altogether.”