Union Accuses Top USCIS Official Of Going After Whistleblowers

By Matthew Casey
Published: Wednesday, November 27, 2019 - 3:10pm

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Members of a federal workers union accuse a top officials at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services of illegally trying to scare whistleblowers from coming forward.

The American Federation of Government Employees has demanded the agency fix violations to federal law and reverse any discipline of so-called leakers who acted as whistleblowers. A six-page letter from the union accuses a top official of having recently broke laws that protect whistleblowers and the Constitution.

A memo sent to all employees by Acting Director Mark Koumans reportedly promised severe punishment for those who share agency information with the press. The union said the memo was missing a legally required explanation that whistleblower rights trump nondisclosure policies.

A Citizenship and Immigration Services official said in an emailed statement that the memo did acknowledge workers can legally report wrongdoing under the Whistleblower Protection Act. But, the official said, sensitive information leaks to the media about legal policies do not count.

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