ICE chief undeterred by constant attacks on agency: ‘If you enter this country illegally, it’s not OK’

The acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement delivered a blistering message to proponents of illegal immigration, vowing he would “never back down” from protecting the U.S. border.

Thomas Homan pointed a finger at sanctuary cities and those defending the so-called Dreamers in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program during a scathing speech in Texas on Wednesday, the Washington Examiner reported.

“If you enter this country illegally, it’s not OK. You need to be worried that if you’re lucky enough to get by, the fine men and women of Border Patrol, ICE are looking for you,” Homan said, echoing President Trump’s tough stance on immigration.

Homan slammed Congress for its ongoing failure to address and correct the causes of illegal immigration.

“If we get a clean DACA bill, shame on all of us,” he told law enforcement officers gathered at the Border Security Expo in San Antonio. “You can’t address DACA and reward people that brought children here illegally and not address underlying reasons of DACA.”

The time for “kicking this can down the road” has passed, the ICE chief told approximately 200 ICE officers, Border Patrol agents, and Department of Homeland Security officials in a nearly 40-minute speech.

“Sanctuary cities, end them. Detainers, legislate them. TVPRA, change it,” he said, referring to the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act. “Asylum, raise the bar. We have the knowledge to fix it, but you know what we need is the willpower of Congress … I’ve been doing this 34 years, we’re talking about the same thing every year.”

His impassioned speech argued against sanctuary cities which he said ultimately hurt the communities.

“They’re not protecting immigrant communities like they say they are ’cause these people are going to reoffend and commit crimes in the very communities in which they live,” Homan said. “Most illegal aliens, beyond committing the crime of entering the country illegally, abide by the law. They don’t want child predators walking around their neighborhoods. They don’t want people convicted of DUI 10 times walking around the neighborhood.”

He also argued that sanctuary cities “bankroll the very criminal organizations that have killed Border Patrol agents and killed special agents in ICE.”

(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

And Homan had a clear message for progressive politicians and the liberal media that have been critical of the agency’s attempts to arrest illegal immigrants.

“People ask me all the time, ‘So why’d you arrest the guy who’s been here 15 years and has two kids?’ Because he had his due process, he got his order from the judge to leave this country. He’s gotta leave,” he explained. “The billions of dollars we spend on law enforcement means nothing because you chose to have a U.S. citizen child while you knew you were in the country illegally. If that’s the message that you want to continue to send … you are never going to fix the southwest border.”

Defending his 20,000 employees, Homan said he is “sick and tired” of disparaging attacks against the men and women who put their lives at risk to protect American communities.

“I’m sick and tired of the vilification of the men and women of ICE and the Border Patrol,” he said. “This country spends billions of dollars a year on border security, immigration court, detention, immigration judges, attorneys, billions of dollars. At the end of that process, if you get a final order issued by an immigration judge after getting due process at taxpayer expense, if that final order doesn’t mean anything, there’s absolutely no integrity in the entire system.”

In an unplanned part of the fiery speech, Homan declared it was a “shame” that politicians pushing their agendas can affect the safety of law enforcement officers.

“It irritates me that a politician who has never held a badge and a gun, who doesn’t understand what we do every day, makes a decision of putting their own political careers ahead of the health and safety of a law enforcement officer,” he said.  “A shame!”

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Frieda Powers

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