Chris Crane

President of the National ICE Council

The longtime President of the National ICE Council, Chris Crane is a staunch ally of some of the most influential anti-immigrant groups in the country including NumbersUSA and the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). Fostering relationships with ICE and other law enforcement has long been a tactic of national anti-immigrant groups. Crane was the lead plaintiff in the anti-immigrant movement’s lawsuit against the DACA program.

  • Crane served in the Marines before becoming an ICE agent in the early 2000s. Crane now serves as the President of the National ICE Council, representing over 7,000 ICE agents.
  • In 2011, Crane attacked DHS Secretary Morton’s memos on prosecutorial discretion, advising immigration enforcement agencies to focus on those who pose a serious threat to public safety. Crane claimed the memos are “just one of many new ICE policies in the queue aimed at stopping the enforcement of U.S. immigration laws.”
  • In 2012, Crane teamed up with the anti-immigrant movement to file a lawsuit against Obama’s DHS secretary Janet Napolitano and ICE Director John Morton in an effort to halt DACA. Anti-immigrant group NumbersUSA took credit for funding the lawsuit, and Kris Kobach, then of the anti-immigrant Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) represented Crane and nine other ICE agents in the suit.
  • Crane was one of the most outspoken opponents of SB-744, the comprehensive immigration reform bill introduced by the Gang of Eight in the Senate in 2013. In 2013, the Federation for American Immigration Reform coordinated with sheriffs from around the country to attend their Hold Their Feet to the Fire event and helped to organize a press conference that featured Crane, then-Senator Jeff Sessions and others in order to provide “a critical counter-balancing voice to the Gang of Eight.” Sessions once described Crane as, “a great American.”
  • Crane also gathered signatures from over 100 sheriffs for a letter sent to Congress in opposition to SB-744.
  • Crane’s union is not the largest for ICE agents and many oppose the actions taken by it during the Obama Administration. “The union has a tendency to fire Scud missiles at the administration. We work to find common ground,” ICE’s representative at the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association told The New York Times in 2013.
  • In 2014, CIS director of research Steve Camarota admitted just how important it is for the anti-immigrant movement to have allies like Crane in agencies like ICE. On a radio station, Camarota stated that CIS wouldn’t be nearly as effective, “without our ongoing good connections with whistleblowers in agencies like Immigration and Customs Enforcement.”
  • Crane’s union endorsed Donald Trump when he ran for President in 2016, after a sitdown meeting between Crane and the then-candidate. “In his immigration policy, he has outlined core policies needed to restore immigration security — including support for increased interior enforcement and border security, an end to Sanctuary Cities, an end to catch-and-release, mandatory detainers, and the canceling of executive amnesty and non-enforcement directives,” Crane stated.
  • Crane also spoke at a campaign rally Trump held in Madison, Alabama, in February of 2016.
  • In 2019, Crane opposed Trump’s pick for Acting director of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) Ronald Vitiello.
  • In a 2013 letter Crane sent to Members of Congress in opposition to SB-744, he claimed, “Violent criminal aliens are released every day from jails back into American communities.”
  • After President Trump released his immigration reform plan in early 2018, Crane criticized it for not being harsh enough, writing in a letter, “we simply cannot in good faith support any legislative effort on immigration that does not include provisions regarding immigration detainers, sanctuary cities, and the smuggling and trafficking of children across U.S. borders.”
  • When speaking at a 2016 Trump rally, Crane attacked Trump’s Republican opponent Marco Rubio and his immigration plan claiming, “It’s as if the criminals wrote it themselves.”
  • When attacking SB-744, Crane told, “Law making in our nation has indeed taken a strange twist as Senators invite illegal aliens to testify before Congress and groups representing illegal aliens are brought into the development of our nation’s laws, but American citizens working as law enforcement officers within our nation’s broken immigration system are purposely excluded from the process and prohibited from providing input. Never before have I seen such contempt for law enforcement officers as what I’ve seen from the Gang of 8.”
  • At a 2014 hearing held in response to women and children fleeing violence in Central America and seeking asylum in the United States, Crane testified and called for increased interior enforcement, “The answer of course is that we aggressively enforce our immigration laws and quickly remove those who enter the country illegally. And in doing so, we send a message to the world that these types of tactics will not be successful.”