Immigrations and Customs Enforcement Director Thomas Homan praised ICE officers and said undocumented immigrants should be “uncomfortable” during a Tuesday House Appropriations Committee meeting on “Immigration & Customs Enforcement and Customs & Border Protection Budget.”
Homan repeatedly made sweeping pronouncements about what he saw as the threat being posed by all undocumented immigrants, regardless of their criminal history. “No population is off the table,” he said, according to the Washington Examiner.
Here’s a transcript of a particularly interesting exchange between Homan and Rep. David Price, a Democrat from North Carolina (emphasis mine):
Homan: When we talk about non-criminal and criminal aliens in the United States, most of the criminal aliens that we find in the interior of the United States, they entered as a non-criminal. If we wait for them to violate yet another law against the citizens of this country, then it’s too late. We shouldn’t wait for them to become a criminal but once they do, we will prioritize it.
But non-criminal enforcement is important because if there’s no consequence to illegal activity and entering this country...we can’t send a message. “Get by the border patrol, get in the interior, as long as you don’t break another law, you’re home free?” Then you’re never going to gain control of the border.
Price: By that standard, you’re talking about every immigrant in the country without papers–
Homan: As I said earlier, if you’re in this country illegally, and you committed a crime by entering this country, you should be uncomfortable, you should look over your shoulder, and you need to be worried...
You can hear more of Homan’s comments—which started about an hour and 53 minutes into the hearing—on the committee’s webcast:
ICE has certainly followed the spirit of Homan’s words. The Trump administration has radically expanded the number of immigrants it targets for deportations, and the number of non-criminals it has arrested has skyrocketed.