Immigration and Customs Enforcement Acting Director Thomas Homan said, during an interview with CNN, that the “false stories out there” about ICE agents purposefully ripping apart illegal immigrant families through deportation is “unfair” and “vilifies” their work.
Homan expressed his frustration with the narrative liberals and the mainstream media propel that often paints ICE officers as dehumanizing enforcers haphazardly deporting sympathetic illegal immigrants left and right. The acting ICE director said there is no excuse for those who feign ignorance about the consequences of illegal actions.
"Is ICE putting the fear in the community, or is it other people putting fear in the community?" Homan asked CNN. "The false stories out there [are] what's sending the chill down the spine of the immigrant community. If I had the cooperation I needed, most of these arrests could be made in a county jail."
Homan said the Left pushes bogus "sob stories" on families ripped apart by ICE agents to vilify their important work. He insisted, however, that illegal immigrants are well aware of the choice they're making when they enter the nation illegally.
"The constant story about us separating families ... when someone enters this country illegally, or someone overstays their visa, they know they're in this country illegally," Homan said. "If they take it upon themselves to have a child in this country and becomes a U.S. citizen by birth, he put his family in that position, not ICE, not Border Patrol. And to vilify the men and women of ICE as separating families is unfair."
The acting ICE director found himself in the spotlight after making comments earlier in the week at a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing in which he warned, "If you are in this country illegally, and you committed a crime by entering this country, you should be uncomfortable, you should look over your shoulder, and you need to be worried."
"No population is off the table," Homan had said. "We'll issue detainers to anybody in the country illegally ... Our priorities are criminals first, but if you're asking me if we are going to put detainers on people that have not been convicted of a crime, yes we will."
Homan told CNN he had "zero regrets" about those earlier statements because they "needed to be said."
"When I say all people are on the table, that's what the executive orders say," Homan said. "The executive orders could have been written in one sentence: We will now enforce the laws on the books, which we haven't been allowed to do."
But Homan insisted the Left might view ICE's policies differently if they witnessed first-hand what immigration enforcement officials deal with on a daily basis, whether it be from immigration-fueled gang violence or smuggling or human trafficking.
"Why am I so strong in what I'm trying to do?" Homan said. "Because people haven't seen what Tom Homan's seen ... They haven't seen the dead immigrants on a trail that were left stranded. They weren't in Phoenix, Arizona, when these organizations were holding people hostage, raping the women, molesting the children, killing people that couldn't pay their smuggling fees, doubling their smuggling fees after they got to the United States."
"People weren't standing with me in Victoria, Texas, in the back of a tractor trailer with 19 dead aliens, including a 5-year-old child lying dead under his father that suffocated in the back of this tractor trailer by these smuggling organizations," Homan added. "You can't be a part of this country unless you have respect for the laws of this country and the people that protect you — the people that enforce the laws."