President Donald Trump has announced that he will nominate the former director of the immigration and customs agency Thomas Homan as “border czar” with Mexico, in another step to contain immigration of undocumented immigrants.
In an interview with FOX television network, Trump announced the election of Homan, who from January to June of 2017 served on an interim basis as head of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Service (ICE), which reports to the Department of National Security.
According to the governor, once he is in office, Homan “will be very involved in the border” and will report “directly” to him.
“I achieved in a few days what others haven’t achieved in years,” Trump said in reference to his threat to impose tariffs on imports from Mexico if the neighboring country makes no further efforts to control the flow of Central American migrants to the United States.
In April of last year, Homan announced his decision to leave the ICE post two months later for family reasons, just six months after Trump officially nominated him for the position and without the Senate confirming his appointment.
As “Border Czar,” Homan, 57, an enthusiastic supporter of Trump’s policies on immigration, will operate from the White House and respond directly to the president’s instructions.
These policies have included the separation of families who arrived at the border asking for asylum, the detention of thousands of minors and the claim before Congress of funds to build the wall that Trump promised in the electoral campaign.
During Homan’s management, ICE significantly increased the number of arrests of immigrants, then deported for illegally residing in the country or for having committed a crime.
ICE agents are responsible for detaining immigrants, then keeping them in detention centers while a judge assesses whether they can stay in the country or should be deported.
When Homan directed the ICE, various social organizations demanded his resignation after the official suggested that public offices that promote “sanctuary” policies should enter the prison.
At a press conference in January 2017, Homan argued that local and state authorities who decide to promote “sanctuary cities” should be prosecuted through the federal penal code.
In addition, he was in favor of suspending federal funding to those local governments that did not collaborate with federal immigration authorities.
“Homan should not occupy any position of authority in our government, it should be eliminated immediately,” denounced in a statement the president of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF), Thomas Saenz.
“Homan’s comments violate the First, Tenth and Fourteenth Amendments of the Constitution by intimidating local and state authorities that have been elected by their citizens,” Saenz concluded.
On the other hand, the assistant legal director of the American Union for Civil Liberties (ACLU), Cecilia Wang, recalled that “multiple courts” have ruled that the Constitution “prohibits the efforts of the Trump administration to intimidate states and localities” to the cities that regulate to protect the undocumented from deportation.
“Homan’s remarks reinforce the intimidation tactics of the Trump government against those who have spoken out against the extremist policies of his administration,” Wang stressed.