Former acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Thomas Homan gave Congress a wake-up call on Friday when he tore into lawmakers for their behavior towards ICE agents.
Homan gave his deepest cut when he said in response to criticisms about migrant detention center conditions and families being separated after illegally crossing the border, “If you don’t like this, do your job. Fix it.”
“As a 34-year veteran of law enforcement, it is shocking, shocking to see constant attacks against those that leave the safety and security of their homes every day, put on a Kevlar vest and put a gun on their hip and risk their own safety to defend this nation,” Homan said at one point during an emotional defense of law enforcements officers working to protect the border.
He later added, “Those that attack the professional integrity of those that serve and blatantly throw unsubstantiated allegations against these men and women with zero evidence of guilt are wrong and should be ashamed.”
The words seemed to be a response to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) who has recently been incredibly critical of conditions in migrant detention centers, as well as those who serve in them and on the border.
In one exchange with Ocasio-Cortez during the hearing, Homan shut down the congresswoman by simply giving facts.
Ocasio-Cortez repeatedly asked Homan whether it was he who recommended implementing family separation rules for families who cross the border illegally. Homan replied each time by telling the congresswoman that he recommended “zero tolerance” when it comes to people crossing the border illegally. He later defended family separation measures by saying it is a common step taken when apprehending someone for any crime.
“If I get arrested for DUI [driving under the influence] and I have a young child in the car, I will be separated [from that child],” he said. “When I was a police officer in New York and I arrested a father for domestic violence, I separated that father from his family.”
“Mr. Homan, with all due respect, legal [asylum seekers] are not charged with any crime,” Ocasio-Cortez shot back.
Homan responded by simply saying that being in the country illegally is a violation of the law.
Ocasio-Cortez replied, “Seeking asylum is legal.”
Homan shot this down with more facts.
“If you want to seek asylum, you through the port of entry and do it the legal way,” he said.
He added, “The attorney general of the United States has made that clear.”
Ocasio-Cortez was left speechless and ended her line of questioning. If it wasn’t already known, the congresswoman’s biggest weakness is facts. She doesn’t know what to do with them and she seems to lose all power when they are presented, much in the same way that Superman loses his superpowers when he’s around Kryptonite.
Check out the exchange between Homan and Ocasio-Cortez below:
Homan also laid the blame of migrant detention center conditions on Congress and praised border patrol agents for doing their best with the tools that they have.
“The same people that vilify border patrol for detention conditions are the same people that refuse to answer the call for help, until it’s too late,” he said.
He added that border patrol agents often go out of their way to make youths captured at the border have as easy of a time as possible while they are detained.
“No one talks about how these men and women bring toys from their homes and their own children to these facilities so the migrant children will have something to play with,” he said. “No one talks about the sickness of these migrants and how these agents take that sickness home to their own families because of that exposure.”
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