On Tuesday, Nov. 14, the White House announced Tom Homan, the immigration hardliner who has been acting as director of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency during the past 10 months, has been named officially as director and his nomination has now been sent to the Senate, where he will face a confirmation hearing. Here are 10 things you should know about Tom Homan, the “ICE Man”:
- Homan has acknowledged that he’s often accused of being “heartless” about immigration. At the Heritage Foundation last month, he said, “Do I feel bad about the plight of some of these people? Absolutely. But I got a job to do and if we don’t do that job, it is only going to get worse.”
- Homan has said repeatedly about enforcement, “No one is off the table.” In fact, at the same Heritage Foundation event last month, Homan vowed to step up workplace enforcement by a magnitude of four or five, sending shudders through certain sectors.
- In July, he floated the possibility of charging mayors and other local leaders with violating anti-smuggling laws if they don’t abandon “sanctuary city” practices that shield immigrants from federal enforcement efforts. He calls sanctuary cities “un-American.”
- Under Homan, more than half of the increase in arrests so far have been of undocumented immigrants who had committed no crime other than illegally residing in the United States. Some experts predict that if arrests continue at the current rate, they may surpass the highest annual numbers reached under President Obama in Donald Trump’s first year in office.
- In June 2017, Homan, 56, said anyone in the country without authorization can be arrested and those who have been ordered deported by judges must be removed if laws are to have meaning. “If you’re in this country illegally and you committed a crime by being in this country, you should be uncomfortable, you should look over your shoulder. You need to be worried,” Homan testified to the House Appropriations Committee in June 2017.
- Homan is supporting Trump’s fight against MS-13, an international gang that has spread throughout North America from Central America. “We’re taking this seriously,” Homan told the Daily Caller July 11. “My gang is bigger than theirs and we are going to take them out. That’s the goal. The president supports that. We’re going to follow through on the president’s promise and we are going to take out MS-13 as much as we can.”
- Homan has spent his 33-year career in law enforcement, including stints in Dallas and San Antonio as an immigration enforcer. Homan often recounts the investigation he oversaw when 19 immigrants were found dead in a milk trailer in Victoria, Texas. It was one of the nation’s deadliest smuggling incidents, and Homan invokes it to illustrate the need for aggressive measures to halt human trafficking.
- Homan served as a police officer in Carthage, N.Y., before joining what was then called the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service in 1986. He served as a border patrol agent, an investigator and a supervisor before being named to the executive associate director position. In 2013, Homan became the executive associate director of ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations.
- Ironically, under the Obama administration, he was given a Presidential Rank Award in 2015 as a distinguished executive in the Obama administration, the highest civil service award. The Obama administration specifically honored Homan for his management of deportations of illegal immigrants with criminal records, with the help of a new expanded fingerprinting system created with the help of local police departments. “We executed the mission perfectly,” Homan said at the time.
- Homan was born in West Carthage, N.Y., and earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice at the State University of New York-Utica/Rome.
The writer is CMO at Hard Beat Communications, Inc. which owns the brands NewsAmericasNow, CaribPRWire and InvestCaribbeanNow.