Immigration Advocates Hold Mixed Feelings over New DHS Advocacy Position

The United States’ Immigration and Customs Enforcement recently created a new position that will work as a liaison between non-governmental immigration advocacy groups. Despite high hopes for this very ingenuitive position, many immigration advocates remain apprehensive of how successful the position will be.

The position, called the Public Advocate for the Department of Homeland Security’s ICE, will be Andrew Lorenzen-Strait, who has previously worked in very similar positions dealing with communications between immigration groups and the ICE. Lorenzen-Strait’s track record is remarkably clean, with few immigration advocates having any negative remarks.

“It’s almost premature to say whether this will lead to tangible results,” Brittney Nystrom, director of policy and legal affairs for the National Immigration Forum, said in an interview with the Huffington Post. “It has some good ingredients here, it’s promoting a person who has been in a liaison role. It’s just another announcement, but it’s a welcome announcement.”

Previously working as a federal attorney and analyst, Lorenzen-Strait has also been a promoter of historic buildings, being both the vice president and volunteer for the historic Arlington House, according to the building’s official website. Lorenzen-Strait began working for the ICE in 2008, where he most recently was the senior adviser for an ICE division of their civil immigration detention, according to the Post.

In this new position, Lorenzen-Strait will spend much of his time talking with immigration experts and stakeholders, relaying their concerns and ideas back to the ICE on how immigration services could possibly be improved.

The ICE is excited to have this new position, and has high hopes for Lorenzen-Strait.

“We want the public to know that they have a representative at this agency whose sole duty is to ensure their voice is heard and their interests are recognized, and I’m confident Andrew will serve the community well in this capacity,” said ICE Director John Morgan in an official statement on February 7.