ICE Director: Hundreds Of Immigration Agents Will Deploy To Sanctuary Cities

Will Racke

The head of the U.S. government’s lead immigration enforcement agency said Tuesday that he will send a wave of agents to arrest criminal aliens residing in sanctuary cities, focusing attention on interior operations as illegal crossings at the southern border continue falling.

Thomas Homan, the acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), told the Washington Examiner that the Trump administration has empowered law enforcement to strictly enforce immigration laws, a welcome change from previous administrations he has worked under during his 30-year career as an immigration cop.

“Now they have meaning to their jobs,” Homan said, referring to U.S. Border Patrol and ICE agents. “What this president has done is taken the handcuffs off of law enforcement officers who are charged with enforcing immigration laws.” (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE — ICE Director Stares Down MS-13: ‘My Gang Is Bigger Than Theirs’)

Homan noted that, since President Donald Trump took office, illegal border crossings have fallen to their lowest level in a decade. Despite a slight uptick in border arrests — a proxy for illegal immigration — illegal crossings of the U.S.-Mexico border in June were 53 percent lower than in the same month last year, a result Homan attributed to Trump’s orders on immigration enforcement. (RELATED: Arrests Of Illegal Aliens At Southwest Border Jump 9%, Remain Well Below 2016 Level)
“You can like President Trump, not like him, like his policies, not like his policies, but one thing no one can argue with is the effect they’ve had,” Homan told the Washington Examiner.

As fewer illegal immigrants try to cross the southern border, ICE is turning its attention to those who are incarcerated in jails, illegally working jobs and at large in the interior of the country. Homan said immigration agents will target the hundreds of local jurisdictions that either refuse to share information with ICE or ignore the agency’s requests to detain criminal aliens in county jails.

He also argued that sanctuary cities are actually endangering illegal immigrants by forcing ICE agents to track them down in the places where they live or work rather than in jail.

“I’m going to arrest him and anybody else with him because there is no population off the table any more,” Homan said, referring to Trump’s expanded deportation net. “So if you really want to tap down the fear in the immigrant community, I would think the counties would want me in their jails.”

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