Acting U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director Thomas Homan ripped Sens. Kamala Harris and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) for canceling three meetings with him in two months, and claimed that “they don’t want to know the facts” because they “want to keep playing this political game.”
Homan — speaking on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” on Thursday morning — responded to remarks Harris made Wednesday night on MSNBC’s “All in with Chris Hayes,” in which she criticized federal immigration enforcement raids in her sanctuary state.
Harris had urged ICE not to “abuse the power” it has by targeting nonviolent illegal immigrants. Harris also slammed the Trump administration for allegedly deciding that it’s “going to scapegoat these communities.”
“You know, what a shame,” Homan said when asked about Harris. “We’re not abusing our authority. We’re enforcing the law. What Kamala Harris needs to understand is her facts.”
Homan said that 89 percent of all the illegal immigrants ICE arrested in the past fiscal year had a criminal history. As for ICE’s most recent operation in Los Angeles, he said that 88 percent of the agency’s arrests were of criminal aliens.
“You know, I’ve tried to meet with Kamala Harris and Dianne Feinstein — [on] three separate occasions in the past two months — to explain to them the facts of what ICE is doing,” Homan said. “They’ve canceled every one of those meetings. They don’t want to know the facts. They want to keep playing this political game, put smoke and mirrors up about what ICE is actually doing. She’s wrong.”
California officially entered 2018 as a so-called sanctuary state, limiting its cooperation with federal immigration enforcement officials. Democratic Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf angered the Trump administration when she publicly warned illegal immigrants of impending ICE raids last month.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Wednesday that the Department of Justice is suing the sanctuary state in federal court. He also targeted Schaaf directly, saying, “How dare you? How dare you needlessly endanger the lives of our law enforcement officers to promote a radical open-borders agenda.”
California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) accused Sessions and the Trump administration Wednesday of “basically going to war against the state of California.”
When asked about Brown’s comments, Homan replied, “No, we’re not going to war with California.”
“I’ve got numerous emails from the citizens of California thanking ICE for what we’re doing,” Homan said. “Look, we are enforcing immigration laws. Kamala Harris or the governor’s not asking the FBI or the DEA [Drug Enforcement Administration], or any other law enforcement agency, to ignore the laws they’re supposed to enforce.”
Although Homan said ICE isn’t “going to war with California,” he ridiculed state and local officials there, saying, “When you call yourself a sanctuary city, you’re dangling a carrot which is going to cause more illegal immigration.”
“They will see more illegal immigration in the state of California,” Homan added. “But let’s make something clear: There is no prerequisite that an alien has to commit yet another crime when they get to the United States to have the law enforced upon them. I mean, we enforce immigration law, that is our job, that is our sworn oath, and we are going to do it without apology.”