Acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement Officer Thomas Homan pushed back at Democratic lawmakers in California who questioned his agency’s increased enforcement activity in their state, reminding them that he is merely enforcing the laws they enacted.
Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris wrote last month demanding to be “briefed on the troubling reports that ICE is targeting raids in California.”
We write to request we be immediately briefed on the troubling reports that ICE is targeting raids in California. Please ensure we are provided with a full accounting of how ICE raids are being prioritized and conducted, including all relevant documents, memorandums, and email exchanges regarding these raids in California.
We firmly believe that law enforcement must prioritize dangerous criminals, not undocumented immigrants who do not pose a threat to public safety. Diverting resources in an effort to punish California and score political points is an abhorrent abuse of power, not to mention a terrible misuse of scarce resources.
The lawmakers were referencing an interview Homan gave shortly after California’s sanctuary state law went into effect. In the Fox News interview, Homan said “California better hold on tight” because the new law is not going to make ICE go away and the agency will be beefing up its presence in the state to protect The Golden State’s communities.
"I didn't think these senators were in the business of enacting laws they didn't want enforced. I'm enforcing the laws they enacted," Homan said Wednesday, responding to claims that ICE is carrying out indiscriminate "raids" on illegal immigrants.
"We don't conduct raids. We conduct targeted enforcement operations. We don't go into neighborhoods, knocking on a bunch of doors, looking for people that are different than us."
He continued: "Every person we arrest, we know exactly who we're going to arrest, we know exactly where we're going to arrest them based on a lot of intelligence, a lot of investigative work.”
Frustrated with California's uncooperativeness with federal authorities, President Trump on Thursday floated the idea of pulling ICE out of the state completely.
"If we ever pulled our ICE out, if we ever said, 'hey, let California alone, let them figure it out for themselves,' in two months they'd be begging for us to come back, they would be begging. And you know what, I'm thinking about doing it," he said during a White House meeting on school safety.