Former Acting ICE Director Tom Homan let Democrats know he was not going to take their personal attacks and false narratives without a fight.
The retired Immigration and Customs Enforcement chief fired back a scathing rebuke at Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz during his appearance Wednesday at the House Oversight Civil Rights and Civil Liberties subcommittee hearing after the Florida Democrat criticized his “bigoted testimony.”
(Video: YouTube/Fox News)
The fiery exchange occurred as Homan defended the Trump administration over Democrats’ false claims about the supposed ending of the medical deferred action program which grants a form of reprieve for illegal immigrants who have medical issues.
During his opening remarks, Homan explained that decisions on deferred action have to be made on a “case by case basis” and “even then only by the relevant prosecution agency … that has the statutory authority over those laws.”
“It doesn’t help to have a mixed message that all of a sudden deferred action is going away,” he said later, also noting that the only change the administration took was to place ICE in the position to make decisions about who gets deferred action instead of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
“ICE doesn’t put their heart on a shelf when they wear the badge and gun and all of a sudden don’t care about humanity. It’s ridiculous. It’s a ridiculous false narrative, and I’m going to be here ’till the day I die defending the men and women of the Border Patrol and ICE who put it on the line defending this country,” he said during the hearing.
Wasserman Schultz vented her anger at Homan when she got the opportunity to speak, slamming him in a grandstanding rant without letting him respond.
“Before I ask my questions, since it has not yet been done, I think it’s important to really make sure that the jingoist, bigoted testimony of Mr. Homan is called out as nearly completely untrue, as being an outrage,” the Democrat said. “And as a former official directing the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency, he should know better.”
She defended her “five minutes” when she was interrupted.
“What did I say that was inaccurate?” Homan asked while Chairman Jamie Raskin, a Maryland Democrat, attempted to restore order.
“I’m not asking a question,” Wasserman Schultz snapped.
“Okay, the gentlelady is recognized for five minutes. She’s made her point, and I will try to resolve any other issues at the end of her questioning,” Raskin interjected.
“I just think it’s important that it’s not accepted as accurate testimony,” the former head of the Democratic National Committee added before she turned to other witnesses to ask her questions.
But Homan was not about to leave the congresswoman’s insults unchallenged and he got his chance to respond after questions from Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan.
“If I can respond to the earlier remark from Wasserman Schultz, I’ve forgotten more about this issue than you’ll ever know,” he said.
“So if you say my testimony is inaccurate, it’s wrong. Everything I said here is accurate,” he declared. “Bottom line. If you want to go toe-to-toe, I’m here. I’m here on my own time to speak to the American people about what’s false and what’s fact.”
“I’m happy to go toe to toe with you Mr. Homan,” Wasserman Schultz replied. “I’m happy to do that any day.”
“Then you gotta let me respond to your question rather than dropping a bomb and running away,” Homan shot back.
“It was my time,” Wasserman Schultz retorted.
Perhaps almost as entertaining as Homan’s rebuke of the Democrat was the look of disgust and incredulity on the face of the woman seated behind him in the video clip.
The former immigration official and current Fox News contributor had promised in an interview prior to the hearing that he would not be backing down in defending his former agency.
(Video: YouTube/Fox News)
“I’m not going there to look for a fight, but I’m not going to run away from one either,” he told “Fox & Friends” Wednesday morning.
Homan was true to his word.
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