'Congress Has to Take This Seriously': ICE Director Says Lawmakers Must Close Immigration 'Loopholes'
Acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Thomas Homan called on Congress to fix the "loopholes" that are allowing illegal immigrants detained by authorities to escape into relative obscurity in the country.
Homan said that when people cross into America illegally and are apprehended, they will be prosecuted.
However, if they are able to claim asylum and meet a low bar of initial acceptance by a naturalization judge, they are often given a court date with an immigration judge who is more likely to send them back to their home countries, Homan added.
He said a 9th Circuit Court decision allows many of these illegal immigrants claiming asylum to be released while they await their court dates and that many do not show up for their hearings.
"We've asked Congress to address [it]," Homan said.
"Congress has to take this seriously," he added.
Homan said that in addition, the ability to work while in the country illegally acts like a "magnet" for further illegal immigration.
He said employers that hire illegals often "take advantage of them" and pay them lower than the federal minimum wage.