The man who was the Obama administration’s chief of removing illegal immigrants said on Wednesday that it was his boss, President Barack Obama, who had the idea of putting illegal immigrant children in the “cages” that Democrats have used as a bludgeon against President Trump.
Thomas Homan, Obama’s executive associate director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement between May 2013 and January 2017, was responsible for “promoting public safety and national security by maintaining direct oversight of critical ICE programs and operations to identify, locate, arrest, detain and remove illegal aliens from the United States,” according to his LinkedIn profile. Since January 2017, he has served as Acting Director for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
He stated on Wednesday, “I’ve been to that facility, where they talk about cages. That facility was built under President Obama under (Homeland Security) Secretary Jeh Johnson. I was there because I was there when it was built,” according to The Washington Examiner.
Homan, speaking at the conference hosted by the Center for Immigration Studies, noted a Democratic chairman who asked a Trump official, “You still keeping kids in cages?” He snapped, “I would answer the question, ‘The kids are being housed in the same facility built under the Obama administration.’ If you want to call them cages, call them cages. But if the left wants to call them cages and the Democrats want to call them cages then they have to accept the fact that they were built and funded in FY 2015.”
Homan said that the Border Patrol facilities where illegal immigrants are detained “were not built to take care of children,” adding, “It’s chain link dividers that keeps children separate from unrelated adults. It’s about protecting children.”
In June 2017, as The Washington Examiner pointed out, Homan told a House Appropriations subcommittee:
It isn’t the fault of law enforcement that people get separated. It’s the fault of the perpetrator. If someone enters this country illegally and knows he’s in the country illegally and is found to be in the country illegally and is ordered removed from the country and chooses to have a child in this country that’s a U.S. citizen by virtue of birth, he put himself in that position, so ICE is not separating that family.
Unlike other agencies, we do this despite a constant deluge of biased attacks against ICE personnel by those who disagree with the laws we enforce. While I recognize that people have the right to protest laws they don’t agree with I want to emphasize to the public and to the media and to this committee that ice officers don’t write the laws. They enforce the laws …
We are all blessed to live in the greatest country on earth and I can’t blame anybody who wants to live here… But we are also a country built on the foundation of the rule of law. Those who choose to enter this country illegally which is a crime, a federal crime, or to overstay their visa have knowingly chosen to break the law. Meanwhile, millions of people who have become permanent members of our society through our generous legal channels, they have shown their respect for the rule of law and for the American people.