The national union that represents 7,000 U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers claims that House Speaker Paul Ryan is playing a role in the national immigration crisis by not voicing strong support for law enforcement's war on the administration's open-border practices.

In a stinging letter to Ryan, the president of the National Immigration and Customs Enforcement Council charged that Ryan's legislative moves and rhetoric have led to more illegals entering the country with the belief they can stay.

"I am sorry to say that your rhetoric could be adding to that perception. Children crossing our border are molested and perish. Any political leader who truly cares about these children will stop the rhetoric and begin working with law enforcement to develop sound immigration policy to end the crisis on our nation's border," wrote union president Chris Crane.

Crane, whose union is part of AFGE, the American Federation of Government Employees, said that "We are in the middle of a national crisis — immigration officers are prohibited from enforcing the laws of the United States, and as a result dangerous criminal aliens are being released into American communities daily."

Crane said he wants a meeting with Ryan, and he portrayed Ryan's legislative actions as pro-immigration and the speaker's comments on the issue as anti-ICE.

Ryan has a reputation for taking a calm and practical approach to immigration and has voiced opposition to any plan for a mass deportation of the 12 million illegals in the United States. Ryan's webpage spells out his positions: Secure the border, enforce current laws, encourage legal immigration, and let illegals in the U.S. to "get right with the law," but not through amnesty.

Crane asked that Ryan bring up legislation to stop the immigration crisis and hold a press conference to discuss the issue.

"Respectfully, I request that you immediately bring up legislation to the floor to address this national crisis and keep the American people safe. Our ICE officers have many ideas about the type of legislation necessary to fix the problem, which we expect to be able to discuss with you at long last. I also request that you hold a press conference with the National ICE Council within the next week to advance these goals," wrote Crane.

The union, which represents deportation officers who screen aliens in jails, respond to requests from local cops, and track down fugitives, has targeted the White House, suing the president over his Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and push for the Dream Act. "DREAMer amnesty had a significant role in sparking the nation's border crisis," wrote Crane.

He said that "ICE offers are overwhelmed," and morale last among 314 federal agencies.

"As ICE officers sworn to uphold the law and defend the U.S. Constitution, we wish the speaker of the House would be more vocal in championing an immigration policy that defends the rule of law, and represents the interests of American citizens and lawful residents and protects their safety," he concluded.

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at