ICE Acting Director Spoke At Event Hosted By Known Hate Group

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Current Immigration and Customs Enforcement acting director Thomas Homan spoke at a Center for Immigration Studies event, a group known for bigoted views.

Acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement director Thomas Homan.

UPDATE: While speaking to an organization that is listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center Tuesday morning, acting head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Thomas Homan defended his agency’s policy of separating children at the southern border.

“Those who choose to come between the ports of entry are committing a crime,” Homan explained while speaking at a Center for Immigration Studies event. “Children and parents get separated every day across this country when a parent is charged with a criminal offense. It’s sad to see children cry when you take a parent out of a home, but because it’s sad, doesn’t mean that we ignore the law.”

Homan’s comments are problematic for two reasons. First, they seem to contradict his boss, President Donald Trump, who blames the separation of families at the border on Democrats. Trump, of course, cites a make-believe policy he insists was written into law by Democratic lawmakers before he was president — yet no such law exists, and the policy is his own administration’s making.

Second, Homan’s explanation is an apples-to-oranges comparison. He’s citing the fact that children whose parents are criminals in America get separated from each other, but in those circumstances most children end up living with the other parent or a close relative, and the crime is more serious in nature. In the case of immigrants coming to America, the act of separating children is itself meant to be the punishment — one that is undoubtedly inhumane and immoral — for a “crime” that is not violent.

Homan’s departure from ICE cannot come soon enough. Unfortunately, given this administration’s propensity to promote the same ideals as he does, it’s unlikely that his replacement will be any better. For a more morally sound immigration policy, it’s likely that a new president (or a Congress that’s able to stand up to Trump) is needed.


The acting head of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency is taking heat from critics for attending a speaking engagement with a known hate group.

The Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) invited ICE’s acting director Thomas Homan to speak at their event at the National Press Club on Tuesday, which they called an “Immigration Newsmaker” conversation.

The event was moderated by CIS’s director of policy studies Jessica Vaughan, a staunchly anti-immigrant spokeswoman who has been part of the organization's disinformation campaign against the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and other pro-immigration programs.

Homan’s decision to speak at the event was criticized. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, CIS is a known hate group that frequently espouses anti-immigrant and anti-Semitism viewpoints in its publications and op-eds. CIS has a devious “record of publishing reports that hype the criminality of immigrants,” the SPLC writes.

Rep. Joseph Crowley, a Democrat from New York, blasted Homan’s decision to speak to the hate group.

“It is highly inappropriate for a senior official of a federal agency to engage with a group that spreads such abhorrent viewpoints, including white supremacism and anti-Semitism,” Crowley wrote in an open letter to Homan on Monday.

It is reprehensible that a top law enforcement official, and indeed the head of a law enforcement department, within President Donald Trump’s administration, would agree to take part in a “discussion” with a group that has peddled such disreputable “research.” Unfortunately, this is par for the course within the administration, as Trump himself was caught promoting the group’s ideals within a tweet earlier this year.

The evidence that Trump and members of his administration are pushing a pro-white, bigoted agenda keeps piling up and doesn’t seem to be slowing down more than 500 days into his tenure. How long will decent Americans put up with this?

Banner/Thumbnail Credits: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

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