Ex-ICE Chief Can't Even Pretend He Cares About Gut-Wrenching Audio of Crying Migrant Kids

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Thomas Homan may no longer be in charge of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, but that doesn’t mean he can’t pop up from time to time to remind everyone that he’s a heartless monster who couldn’t care less about the human cost incurred by children detained during his time in office.

Interviewed by PBS’ Martin Smith for a forthcoming episode of Frontline focusing on the Trump administration’s anti-immigrant policies, Homan was asked about his reaction to the now-infamous audio of crying children detained in federal detention centers obtained by ProPublica in June.

“I didn’t hear the tape,” Homan claimed, adding that he’s heard plenty of kids sobbing during his decades in immigration work.


“I don’t need to hear children cry,” he said.

Smith pressed on, playing the audio for Homan—evidently for the first time—and asking whether the former acting ICE director “sympathized” with the crying children.

Here’s Homan’s extremely lukewarm response, delivered without an ounce of visible emotion:

Absolutely. I’m a parent. I..I...I.. It’s sad. But when a government chooses to enforce the law and they separate the parents that’ve been prosecuted, just like every U.S. citizen—[a] person in this country gets separated when he gets arrested. But people want a different set of rules for an illegal alien.


This is not the first time Homan has been horrifically underwhelming in his response to the government’s policy of jailing immigrant children. Last month he also described the situation as “sad,” while insisting that parents bringing their children to the U.S. while fleeing horrific circumstances in their native countries simply “don’t understand” America’s immigration laws.

Speaking on Monday with MSNBC’s Morning Joe, which obtained the preview footage of Homan’s interview ahead of the Frontline episode’s July 31 premiere, Smith described Homan’s sub-par reaction to sobbing children.


“It was abundantly clear after talking to him that he sees this as a simple case of: There’s a law about how you legally enter the country,” Smith explained. “He’s going to enforce it.”

You can watch the clip of Homan’s interview, as well as Smith’s analysis, here.

Senior writer. When in doubt he'll have the soup.

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