Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Acting Director Thomas D. Homan says his team, unshackled by President Donald Trump, is "open for business" and planning to target sanctuary cities with additional resources and 10,000 new agents.
And he's not sorry about it.
Homan told The Washington Examiner on Tuesday that deportation targets have surged now that President Trump has "taken the handcuffs off of law enforcement." The top ICE official explained that illegal border crossings have plummeted by nearly 70% since Trump took office, "arrests inside the country have jumped 40% and that demands for illegal criminals in local jails has skyrocketed 80%."
Now that illegal crossing have dropped to "a historic low," according to Homan, border officers can turn their attention to illegal immigrants settled in the country, including those in sanctuary cities, of which there are over 300 in the United States.
Such cities evade federal law and shield illegal immigrants detained by enforcement officers within the city from ICE. Homan is not a fan, calling such policies "ludicrous."
"In the America I grew up in, cities didn't shield people who violated the law," said the official.
According to the Examiner, Homan "plans to flood sanctuary cities with agents" and has been given the green light to hire 10,000 new agents for the mission.
"The president recognizes that you've got to have a true interior enforcement strategy to make it uncomfortable for them," stated Homan.
The immigration official with over 30 years experience in the field argued that it's "much safer for ICE targets, police and citizens to make the arrest in jails than on city streets." Homan ripped liberal cities like San Francisco, New York City, and Chicago for refusing to allow his team to seize illegal immigrant criminals from their jails, putting citizens at higher risk.
Moreover, according to the Examiner, Homan suggested sanctuary policies generate more fear within immigrant communities since ICE officials are, in effect, forced to "hunt down fugitives at their homes or work." This is not good for anyone.
"I'm going to arrest him and anybody else with him because there is no population off the table any more. 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," he said.
Recently giving testimony before Congress, Homan said there is no "magic number we need to get to" when it comes to deportation. Criminals and threats to safety are certainly being prioritized under the Trump Administration, but no illegal immigrant is safe from ICE, he said.
"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," asserted Homan.
The ICE official added that the Trump-effect on immigration is irrefutable — and everyone should be on board.
"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," said Homan.
"What this president has done is taken the handcuffs off of law enforcement officers who are charged with enforcing immigration laws," he said.
"You'd think everybody would be celebrating these policies."
One would think.