Republican Rep. Andrew Clyde

Georgia Rep. Andrew Clyde Leads Effort Demanding ICE Official Not Receive Civil Service Protections

Republican Rep. Andrew Clyde
Republican Rep. Andrew Clyde. By Arjun Singh, DCNF.

A group of House Republicans led by Rep. Andrew Clyde of Georgia sent a letter on Wednesday demanding that a Biden administration appointee who worked for an anti-deportation organization not be granted civil service protections, according to a copy obtained exclusively by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

The DCNF previously reported that Claire Trickler-McNulty — currently the Assistant Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for the Office of Immigration Program Evaluations, who oversees policies for how the agency detains foreign nationals subject to removal from the country — worked for an organization that opposed deportation of illegal immigrant children.

Clyde and 34 other House Republicans wrote a letter to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Director Kiran Ahuja demanding that Trickler-McNulty not have her job converted from political appointee to civil servant, which would enable her to serve beyond Biden’s tenure and in a future Republican administration.

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“Ms. Trickler-McNulty has stated previously that she used her prior civil service position as a platform from which to resist changes at ICE being proposed by the previous administration…during the Trump Administration Ms. Trickler-McNulty was working from the inside to thwart the Administration’s initiatives,” wrote the lawmakers, which included House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mark Green. “Ms. Trickler-McNulty should not be rewarded with the protections of federal civil servant status for implementing her own, woke agenda.”

The process of converting a political appointment to a civil service position is known as “burrowing,” and requires the approval of OPM under guidelines established during the Trump administration, with many requests being denied. Civil servants, unlike political appointees, cannot be dismissed at will from their employment, with dismissal by law requiring several administrative procedures that are subject to appeal.

The letter details allegations of Trickler-McNulty seeking to enact greater protections for illegal immigrants and other foreign nationals who are unlawfully present in the United States, who ICE would normally process for removal from the country.

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It claims that she is leading efforts to close down ICE detention facilities while supporting alternative programs that enable such foreign nationals to be released pending the completion of their proceedings.

“Currently, under Ms. Trickler-McNulty’s design at ICE, they are closing down existing operational ICE processing centers around the country including one in House Speaker Mike Johnson’s congressional district to divert those funds to social service programs with NGOs,” wrote the signatories. “Ms. Trickler-McNulty is part of a group of current and former ICE political employees that are ‘Abolish ICE’ architects. They are systematically replacing enforcement, compliance, and removal of illegal aliens with ‘catch and release’ social service programs.”

In 2020, Trickler-McNulty’s employer, Kids In Need of Defense (KIND), signed a letter along with Abolish ICE Denver.

The DCNF previously reported, exclusively, that Trickley-McNulty was granted contract-signing authority on behalf of ICE. The letter’s signatories claim that she has used her authority to enter contracts with groups hostile to ICE’s mission of removing illegal immigrants and other unlawfully present foreign nationals.

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“[S]he has used the past three years to redirect the agency mission toward NGO-delivered welfare services for those coming here illegally. This includes, for example, ICE’s Case Management Pilot Program, overseen by Church World Service, which backs defunding ICE,” the signatories wrote. “Ms. Trickler-McNulty’s office is pushing a massive program like [Release and Report Management] to expand social services to all 6.1 million illegal immigrants on the non-detained docket.”

Apart from Clyde and Green, the letter’s signatories include several prominent conservative members of Congress such as Republican Reps. Chip Roy of Texas, Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Lauren Boebert of Colorado and House Freedom Caucus Chairman Bob Good. The letter was copied to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, who was impeached by the House of Representatives on Feb. 13, and Acting ICE Director Patrick Lechleitner.

ICE and the OPM did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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