Donald Trump's nativist, closed-border proposals may have alarmed many this election year, but the official union representing America's Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) employees is evidently a fan.
On Monday, Trump announced he'd received a thumbs-up from the National Immigration and Customs Enforcement Council, trumpeting it as "their first-ever endorsement of any candidate for any elected office." On its website (peppered throughout with links to the alt-right news nexus Breitbart) the council claims to represent 7,600 of ICE's "Officers, Agents and employees." However, a statement from the group quoted in Trump's press release announcing the endorsement puts that number at 5,000.
According to its website, ICE has "more than 20,000 employees in more than 400 offices in the United States and 46 foreign countries."
In Monday's release, council president Chris Crane slammed both President Obama and Hillary Clinton for what he called "unconstitutional executive orders" and a "non-enforcement [immigration] agenda":
America has been lied to about every aspect of immigration in the United States. We can fix our broken immigration system, and we can do it in a way that honors America’s legacy as a land of immigrants, but Donald Trump is the only candidate who is willing to put politics aside so that we can achieve that goal. We hereby endorse Donald J. Trump, and urge all Americans, especially the millions of lawful immigrants living within our country, to support Donald J. Trump, and to protect American jobs, wages and lives.
The statement also claims that Trump initiated contact with the union, while Clinton—who received just 5% of the union's vote—has never met with the group.
In reality, and despite his efforts towards immigration reform, President Obama has been responsible for more than two and a half million immigrant deportations—more than any single president before him, and, as of January 2016, almost as much as every 20th century president combined.
Trump's immigration proposal, the central—albeit characteristically ambiguous—issue of his candidacy, has been predicated largely on restricting the flow of people into the United States, based in part on ethnicity and religion.