Senators were especially concerned about recent reports that ICE is not coordinating operations on the country's southwest border with other federal agencies, including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Morton said he was aware of the problems and a top priority would be to solve the jurisdictional issues among the agencies. "As a federal prosecutor I'm very familiar with the issue of turf wars. I don't think they have a place in the federal government as a general matter, and I particularly don't think they have a place on the southwest border," he said.
Morten expressed concern about low morale in ICE.
Morton stressed the importance of improving management at ICE and making the agency an "attractive and exciting" place to work where employees receive adequate training and clear guidance. "As a lifelong federal employee I feel a duty to [the workforce]," he said.
The agency is still relatively young -- it was created in 2003 when Homeland Security was stood up -- and lacks mature management controls over some of its programs, Morton said, an area he would work to rectify.
His top goals will be to improve border security and remove aliens who pose a threat to national security or public safety, he said.
Both Lieberman and Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, the committee's ranking member, said they would support the nominees. Lieberman said the full Senate likely would vote to confirm them next week.
What does ICE have to do with border security? U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which includes the Border Patrol has jurisdiction over the border. ICE is an "internal" immigration enforcement agency. ICE is a total waste of tax payer money. ICE should be abolished, as should the entire Department of Homeland Security. The ICE budget is over $4 billion and and their mission is NADA, NOTHING. Less than 10% of the agents work to remove aliens who pose a threat to national security. More of the same bull shit under the ObamaNation that this county had under Bush when it comes to Homeland Security. Our nation is less safe than it was before 911. Wake up America!