ICE Director Calls Out 'Political Game' by CA Dems: 'They Don't Want to Know the Facts'
Acting ICE Director Tom Homan responded Thursday to a flurry of criticism from California Democrats over the Trump administration's lawsuit that seeks to block the state's sanctuary policies.
California Gov. Jerry Brown blasted Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday, accusing the administration of trying to "polarize America."
"At a time of unprecedented political turmoil, Jeff Sessions has come to California to further divide and polarize America. Jeff, these political stunts may be the norm in Washington, but they don’t work here. SAD!!!” said Brown.
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) accused ICE of potentially abusing its power by going after illegal immigrants who do not pose a public safety threat to the community.
Homan said Harris' arguments are factually inaccurate. He said he has invited Harris and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) to several meetings in recent months to explain the enforcement operations and each time the senators have cancelled.
"Nine out of every 10 aliens we arrested [in the last fiscal year] did have a criminal history. ... They don't want to know the facts. They want to keep playing this political game and put smoke and mirrors up about what ICE is actually doing," he said on "Fox & Friends."
California Senator @KamalaHarris says the Trump administration is giving #ICE too much power. Acting ICE Director Thomas Homan responds on @foxandfriends: "We're not abusing our authority, we are enforcing the law." pic.twitter.com/I8hS4rAlwr
— Brian Kilmeade (@kilmeade) March 8, 2018
The Justice Department filed a lawsuit this week to block three recently-passed California state laws that interfere with federal immigration policies.
One of the laws limits state and local cooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), while another prevents private companies from voluntarily cooperating with federal immigration enforcement officials.
Federal officials have accused California of standing in the way of its plan to step up enforcement of federal immigration laws.
The Justice Department is also reviewing Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf's decision to warn of an immigration sweep in advance, which ICE said allowed hundreds of immigrants to escape detention.
Homan said ICE is not "going to war" against California, explaining that he is getting "numerous" emails from citizens who support the enhanced enforcement of immigration laws.
"Let's make something clear: there's no prerequisite that an alien has to commit yet another crime when they get to the United States to have the law enforced upon them," he said.
Homan said "more people will die" trying to come to the United States over the Mexican border if they believe they can reach a state where they will be shielded from deportation.
Watch the interview above.