Acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Thomas Homan said that border crossings have dropped significantly. In addition, he said that arrests and demands for removal of illegal alien criminals from local jurisdictions have increased by 80 percent since President Donald Trump took office. Saying that the behavior of so-called “sanctuary cities” is “ludicrous,” Homan said, “In the America I grew up in, cities didn't shield people who violated the law." Speaking to the Washington Examiner, Homan said, “The president recognizes that you've got to have a true interior enforcement strategy to make it uncomfortable for them.”

In a televised interview with show host Neil Cavuto on Fox News last week, Homan criticized authorities in Chicago, which has been plagued with murders and shootings. He noted that his officers are not allowed into Chicago jails under the city’s sanctuary protections, while he claimed that criminal illegal aliens are released to the streets to repeat their crimes. As for other obstacles, he pointed out a decision by a federal judge in Detroit to prevent the deportation of Iraqi Christians. Some of these, Homan asserted, have been charged or are guilty of rape, child molestation, and other crimes.

ICE plans on hiring 10,000 more agents. Homan told the Washington Examiner that the policies of sanctuary cities are heightening the fears of immigrant communities because ICE officers must track down criminal and fugitive aliens in their homes and places of work. "What I want to get to is a clear understanding from everybody, from the congressmen to the politicians to law enforcement to those who enter the country illegally, that ICE is open for business. We're going to enforce the laws on the books without apology. We'll continue to prioritize what we do. But it's not OK to violate the laws of this country anymore. You're going to be held accountable," he said.

Homan said that ICE officers will spread out to sanctuary cities such as Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, and San Francisco. He has repeatedly condemned local and state officials who refuse to cooperate with federal efforts to enforce immigration laws. When local jurisdictions offer sanctuary policies, he said, ICE agents are endangered when they go to the streets seeking fugitive and criminal aliens. He said, however, that ICE will prioritize criminal aliens and those who present a threat to society.

"[President Trump] basically told [us] you can now do your job, you will enforce laws on your books. There's no population of alien that's off the table anymore and we've been waiting on that for a decade now," said Homan.

Referring to Trump’s emphasis on immigration enforcement, Homan said “You may not like this president, you may not like the policies. You cannot with the results of these policies. We’ve had a strong effect. We have the strong determination of the men and women that step up every day and put their lives on the line for this country. It’s about time. It’s long past due.”

Meanwhile, preparations for the construction of Trump's border defenses are underway. And the Department of Homeland Security is focusing on the San Diego, and the Rio Grande Valley, as the highest priority areas for the wall.



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Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat and the editor of Spero News.

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