The acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Thomas Homan, says the policies of the Trump administration are a welcome change for his agents from the restrictive, cumbersome, anti-enforcement mandates of his predecessor. Now the agents are being allowed to do what they were hired to do, arrest and deport foreign squatters.
Homan said, “Now they have meaning to their jobs,” referencing both ICE and Border Patrol agents, and they’re cheering the changes. Saying President Trump has “taken the handcuffs off of law enforcement,” and that Homan is planning to surge agents into approximately 300 sanctuary cities.
He said, “You can like President Trump, not like him, like his policies, not like his policies, but one thing no one can argue with is the effect they’ve had.” He notes that since President Trump took office, illegal border crossings are down by almost 70 percent, “an historic low.” He says arrests inside the country have risen 40 %, with demands for the pick up of illegal criminals in local jails up by 80%.
Homan, a 30-year veteran of the agency, plans to redistribute manpower in response to the reduced need at the border and the peak demands in the interior. He has also been authorized to hire 10,000 new agents and many will be engaged in helping to track down illegals in the primary target of sanctuary cities. ICE will focus more efforts on those who are incarcerated, working illegally and at large inside the interior of the United States.
A top priority will be those jurisdictions that refuse to comply with ICE detainer requests or which refuse to share information with ICE. They might think they’re providing sanctuary, but Homan’s policies will make that little more than a political claim and an illusion. They’re actually drawing more attention and engagement with federal immigration representatives than if they were cooperating.
Homan also made the argument that by refusing to act in good faith with his agency, sanctuary cities are endangering illegal aliens by leaving ICE with no enforcement alternative other than pursuit, to hunt the offenders down in their places of residence or employment rather than in jails. Rather than picking up one individual in a jail, ICE officers might arrest and entire work crew or those sharing his apartment.
Homan stated, “I’m going to arrest him and anybody else with him because there is no population off the table anymore, referring to President Trump’s expanded deportation policies.” He recommended, “So if you really want to tap down the fear in the immigrant community, I would think the counties would want me in their jails.”
In recent Congressional testimony, Homan stated, “What I want to get to is a clear understanding from everybody, from the congressmen to the politicians to law enforcement to those who enter the country illegally, that ICE is open for business. We’re going to enforce the laws on the books without apology, we’ll continue to prioritize what we do. But it’s not OK to violate the laws of this country anymore, you’re going to be held accountable.”
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